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' -* J J 


' Demolishing the Houses Purchased 

Mb, L. Phillips (ISOfi) 

urS IN 

• J '* « • r. 




k • 

;g cross road 

1? reserved] 
















[All rights reserved] 

• • 

Printed by BALllirfttr*, ttlNSotf <V C(^ 
At the Balkuityne Press 











I HAVE heard life in the Forum likened unto * La Citt^ 
Morte,' wherein the malign influences of ancient crimes 
rise up from the soil and evilly affect those who live 
upon the site. I have also heard it declared to be a 
place dangerous to physical health. It is with gratifi- 
cation, therefore, after living therein, both beneath 
it and above, as few can have done, for considerable 
portions of the last six years, that I can bring solid 
evidence to belie both accusations. They indeed would 
prove far more applicable if levelled at certain other 
august centres of Rome. For I find it necessary to 
return thanks here for valuable assistance given to 
me without hesitation and at all times, not only by my 
personal friend Comm. Giacomo Boni and those of his 
staff, but by each and all of the workmen and custo- 
dians down to the humblest, under his direction. I 
have known none of them seriously ill or affected by 
malign spirits ; nor have I ever seen even a frown on 
any official face there except once, and that was when a 
lady graduate kept calling the official museum * Excu- 
bitorium Yigilarum'; but even that changed happily 
upon learning that a Maltese cicerone had been heard 
the same day informing his English and American 
clients that 8. Paul had stood upon the Black Stone 
before Festva, and that this was how the Niger Lapis 


came to be discovered, *Comm. Boni being a most zealous 
student of S. FauPs work in Rome.' Neither have I 
actually known any one to deny the fascination of the 
Forum and of these excavations excepting the late Mr. 
Whistler, who sniffed and said to me, ' Ruins don't 
count,' and went away to Paris, after but two days* 
visit, calling Rome * jaune ville de stucco.' 

Among other works to which recourse has been made 
in writing this Handbook, I wish to express obligations 
to the monumental volume by Mr. Neville Rushforth 
on Sta. Maria Antiqua; to the clear and incisive 
Ausgrabungen auf dem Forum Bomanum of my friend 
Professor Ohr. Huelsen; to the valued *Analecta' 
of Hermann Grisar, S.J., and to his excellent Roma 
nd Medio £vo ; and, above all, to the numerous works 
of the Director of the Excavations, supplemented, as 
they have been, from the first by private letters and 
photographs. I am also indebted to Mr. Francis 
Tuckett, F.S.A., for the use of certain photographs of 
his taking, and to the Editor of the Olobe for permission 
to make use of contemporaneous notices of some of the 
* discoveries ' communicated by me to his journal. The 
view taken from a balloon is from a photograph by 
Oapt. Moris, R.E. 




The Fobuh and Fo&a 1-3 

Obibntation 3-4 

Matebials 4-6 

comitium 7-24 

Aboh of Seyebus 24 


Temenos Vbst^ 27-28 

Reoia 28-34 

Vesta 35-46 

Temple of Julius Gjbsab 46-47 

Equus Dohitiani 47-51 


Flavian Rostba 63 


Abch of Tibebius 55 

Museum (Official) 56 

basilica JBmilia 56-60 

Gloaca 60 

Venus Cloacina 63 

Temple of Bacchus 68 





Gliyus Saoba Via 68-65 

Aboh op Titus 66 

JuPiTBB Statob 66 

Clivus Falatinus 67 

Gabcbbbs 68 

Sbpulobbtum 70-74 

Babilioa of Mazbntius 74 

Gabtob and thb Auousteum 75-77 

Sta. Mabia Antiqua 77-97 


Sta. Fbanoesoa Romana 97-99 

fons jutubnjs 99 

Nova Via 108 

Altab of Fbace 103-106 

Lacus Gubtius 106 

Sacba Via 109 

Styles of Wobk 112 


Demolishing the Houses Purchased by Mr. L. 

Phillips (1899) Frontupiece 

CoMM. BoNi directing Bxcavation at the Niger 

Lapis 7 

South Side of Niger Lapis (R.) 8 

Niger Lapis from South 8 

Sacra Via just before the Finding of Niger 

Lapis 9 

CoMiTiuM Excavations (Jan. 1899-Maroh 1900) 10-11 

Forum Romanum from a Balloon .... 13 
Early Republican (North) Margin of Forum, near 

Niger Lapis (1900) 16 

Excavation at Niger Lapis (Gomm. Boni) .17 

The Curia (from Basilica Julia) .... 18 

Wall of Vestal Tbmbnos 27 

The Door and Laurbl of Regia (Looking South- 
west) 27 

Round Sacrabium of Mars in the Regia ... 28 

South Wall of Regia (Republican) .... 32 

Work at the Tholos in the Regia .... 32 

Within Cella Stercoraria of ^des Vest^e . 35 

Locus Intimus (Vbst^) ....... 38 

Tank, or Vasca, in Atrium Vest^ .... 38 





Basb of Altab in ^drs Divi Julii . . . . 46 

robtba of juuus c^sab 54 

Excavation to Discover the Basilica Emilia 57 

Circular Podium of Vbnus Cloacina, with Plat- 
form of Basilica Emilia 57 

South-Bast Corner Stone of Basilica Emilia . 58 


Basilica Emilia (With bases of Africano Columns) 69 

Fragments of Frieze of Basilica Emilia . 60 

Marble Riquadbo (Found 19(X)) 62 

Cuvus Sacra Via (During Excavation, 1900) . . 62 

Clivus Sacra Via • 62 

GuRVBN Entablature of Temple of Bacchus . . 63 

Wells beside Cuvus Sacra Via 64 

Sttlobate of Venus Cloacina 64 

Clivus Sacba Via (During Excavation, 1899) 65 

Cuvus Sacba Via (Looking East) ..... 66 

Undeb Abch of Titus 67 

Cabcebes(7) 68 

Hut Ubn (the Door removed) 71 

Basilica Maxentiana (From East) .... 74 

Foundations of Temple of Castob .... 76 
Fbaoment of Pediment of Castob and Pollux 

(Found 1901) 77 

AUOUBTEUM (From South) 82 

(Hadbian's) Auousteum, from the Vicus Tuscus 82 
Altab and Puteal in Fbont of the Shbine of 


Shbine of Jutubna and Altab 101 

Pool, ob Lacus, of Jutubna . . .102 




On visiting the Forum the first surprise experienced 
usually is caused by the smallness of its area in com- 
parison with its vast historical importance. "We say 
to ourselves, is it possible that the Roman world, even 
of CsBsar's time, could have transacted its business in 
such restricted limits? moreover, in limits so crowded 
with separate buildings of all sizes ? At first this seems 
to be as great a difficulty as that which confronted some 
of those who saw the Bostra of OsBsar excavated, namely, 
could that humble arcaded platform, so simply though 
so neatly and admirably constructed, be indeed the 
world-famous Bostra ? Is it worthy of so great a figure 
as OsBsar? Is the jewel commensurate with what we 
imagine must have been the setting ? 

The difficulty is, no doubt, in ourselves. We must 
not love OsBsar less, but Rome the more. We are 
looking back at remains of the OsBsarian Rome through 
the magnifying historical medium of the World-empire, 
and are consequently trying to fit the larger to the 
smaller in too sudden a manner. The result is a visual 
confusion — perhaps, disappointment. Those Rostra of 



CflBsar became inadequate to the necessities of forensic 
life under the empire ^ before the first century a.d. was 
completed. Hence the Flavian emperors or Trajan 
erected those nobler and far ampler ones which we now 
see (restored) in front of them. In like manner, too, the 
Forum, the old Forum Romanum itself^ had in Caesar's 
and Cicero's days become equally inadequate to the busi- 
ness life of their time; wherefore Cicero, in b.g. 54, 
describes the grand undertaking of Lucius iEmillius 
Paullus in rebuilding his superb family monument, the 
National Exchange, as a buying up of private houses * ut 
Forum laxaremusy* t.e. to enlarge the Forum. Expensive 
as the great utilitarian scheme inevitably was, the en- 
largement could take place only upon that northern side. 
CsBsar followed on by buying, with part of the same 
monies (i.e. the spoils of the Gallic War), more houses 
and ground, west and north of the Curia, so as to form 
the Forum Julium. We know that Augustus presently 
extended this area further northward still, that Ves- 
pasian, Domitian, and Nerva each in turn extended these 
eastward, thereby creating the Forum Transitorium and 
Forum Pacis ; and finally, that Trajan cut away a pro- 
jecting spur of the Quirinal on the north-west of the 
Forum of Augustus, and by so doing completed the great 
movement developed by Paullus and Ciesar, with the 
noblest f oinim of all, called after him, the Forum Trai- 
anum, or Ulpianum. 

So that, in reality, could we from some vantage point 
look down and survey all these conjoined imperial fora, 
together with their original parent, the one Forum 

^ One more reason for their becoming so was because Tiberias, 
in erecting the Arch to Germanicns, had selected a site on the 
little Cassarian street between the Basilica Jnlia and the Fomm, 
which involved the sacrifice of two of the recesses of the arcade. 


alone now completely exposed for us, that surprise 
above adverted to would not partake of the nature of a 
disappointment. We should see below us the entire 
family of Fora. We should survey a space covering 
many thousands of square yards, rich amazingly with 
temples, basilicas, and columns, white with dazzling 
marbles and white-robed people, golden with gilt- 
bronze statues, and here and there beautifully green 
with favoured and sacred trees and flowers, — adequate, 
moreover, to the needs even of the mighty Empire. I 
say trees and flowers, because Augustus had loved and 
valued them, and we read that " compitales lares ornare 
bis anno instituit vernis floribus et aestivis." 

The next surprise is created by finding that, although 
most of the edifices in the Forum are set in confor- 
mity with what seems to be the natural suggestion of 
the situation, fitting themselves, that is to say, to the 
lines given by the north side of the Palatine Hill and 
the east side of the Capitoline, yet certain of them, the 
Begia, the remains of the Domus Publica near it, the 
Shrine, or ^dicola, of Juturna, the catch-j)it of the 
round podium of the ^des Yestae, and the monuments 
under the Niger Lapis, are set at quite a different 
angle. Then there is the Templum Sacrse Urbis of 
Vespasian (SS. Cosma and Damiano), and the pavement 
of the Lacus Curtius (made to correspond with the direc- 
tion of the Cloaca Maxima), set at even another angle. 

The explanation is that until Csesar's day most of the 
public buildings in Rome, in disregard of appearances, 
had been orientated in agreement with the solar path, 
more or less correctly ; that is, with the line drawn N.--S. 
by the augur with his lituus or wand. Oatulus had 
already observed the newer orientation in building the 
Tahtdanum (b.c. 78). At the height of his power and 


authority Caesar found himself able to disregard certain 
traditions, this one of Orientation among them ; and 
in his rehabilitation of the Forum he adopted for his 
building-scheme the orientation suggested by the lines 
of the adjacent elevations. His tendency, it is manifest, 
was not religious but expedient, nor did he need to alter 
all the buildings. Some exceptions are already noted. 
But wherever the spade has descended in order to 
display early levels, or has discovered very ancient 
foundations, the original and correct orientation is at 
once remarked. Caesar, at any rate, if not the first to 
adopt it, was the first to establish the later setting on 
an extended scale. After his date, whenever an edifice, 
such as the Temple of Castor, suffered from fire or earth- 
quake sufficiently to need rebuilding, the early orienta- 
tion was abandoned in favour of the new, and for the 
benefit of general appearance or'symmetrical conformity. 

With possession of this simple fact we may make 
quick progress in discriminating between Republican 
and Imperial remains. But one more acquisition is 
needed, and a little practice will soon help to make us 
masters of that likewise, namely, some slight knowledge 
of the materials employed. 

This falls under seven heads. They comprise : — 

I. Tufo, a volcanic conglomerate, of which four 
varieties are used in the Forum : (1) Tufo guHkistro, 
of a dark greenish yellow hue ; (2) Uonato^ a harder 
variety, of a reddish or chocolate tone (c/. blocks of the 
podium of the ^Edes Yest») ; (3) Tufo peperirio, which 
is grey, and called so from its resembling pepper. It 
comes from the Alban Hills (c/. the wall of the Temple 
of Faustina) ; (4) Tufo nerastrOf a dark variety. 

II. Travertino. — ^This is a highly porous stone of a 
creamy whiteness, being a deposit of carbonate of lime 


made by the Anio. The chief beds used by the Romans 
are near Bagni, on the way to Tivoli. Exposed to 
weather, travertine, as seen in the Coliseum, can take 
on brilliant chrome and reddish tones, as well as a kind 
of silvery efflorescence. It is frequently found framing 
doors and arches, and in Republican pavements. 

III. Selce, or lava bamLtina, of a daiic grey colour 
and extremely hard ; used anciently, in polygonal blocks, 
for paving the open streets and roads both in the Forum 
and beyond the city.^ The ancients dressed its surface 
smooth and flat with chisels ; the medisevals hammered 
it only into rounded lumps. The moderns do still 
worse. It comes from the veins descending from the 
Alban Mount, one of which reached as far as the neigh- 
bourhood of Cecilia Metella's tomb, on the Via Appia. 

lY. lAarble, of many varieties, sparingly used before 
CaBsar's date, and increasingly used and imported down 
to the fourth century, for pavements, columns, veneer 
panels^ and mouldings. The white marbles alone are 
of five or six varieties in the Forum — Parian, Pentelic, 
and Luna (Carrara) are the most usual. There are 
besides grey and red Egyptian granites ; and porphyry, 
red> green^ and black and white. 

Y. Brick, Tiles, and Terra-cotta. — ^The Romans used 
bricks of several sizes and shapes — square, oblong, 
triangular (for facings), and occasionally (for columns) 
circular. Of these the triangular were solely employed 
for facings ; the square (8-inch) tegulce beasaleSj for piloB 
in hypocausts ; the large (tegtUoe btpedales and sesqui- 
pedales) for arches, drain-vaults, oven-floors, and courses 
in walls of tufo reticulate work. The oblong were used 

^ The peoples whom the Romans subdued used the polygonal 
style in construoting their walls and gates. The conquerors, 
however, are only found using it to walk upon. 



as we use them to-day. Very small ones were used for 
pavements of opt^ %'picaium {spica, * a wheatear '). See 
the floor of the passage leading from S. Maria Antiqua 
up to the Palace. 

Terra-cotta was employed for hollow or tubular tiles, 
for conveying heat up walls of rooms from hypocausts, 
or rain down them, and for pavements and floors in the 
days of Csesar and Augustus (opus signinum), as in the 
rostral recesses, as well as for decorative friezes, anti- 
flxse, and mouldings. 

VI. ConcreteB of several varieties were used at 
different dates, both for foundations, vaults, and wall- 
cores, chiefly composed of one or other of the materials 
above-mentioned, mixed in a' medium of pozzolana, a 
coarse chocolate volcanic earth found in the Campagna^ 
and lime. Selce occurs in all ; selce, travertine, and 
marble in many. The binding quality of the cement dif- 
fers considerably, and is naturally least excellent in the 
latest work ; though Maxentius (306-312) made it well. 

VII. Wood. Oak (quercus rohur\ poplar, pine, 
used in the upright posts and horizontal boards em- 
ployed in casting concrete foundations, as exposed to 
view in the foundations of the Temple of Faustina, in 
that of the Equus Domitiani, and in a passage from the 
Stadium (Palatine) to the Domus Augustana (house of 
Augustus). The upper storeys, balconies, stairs, and 
roofs of Roman houses were constructed of the same 
materials ; but those who could aflcord cedar and cypress 
preferred them, as resisting insect-life. 

If, therefore, we walk down into the Forum on a 
sunny morning, when the brilliant, youth-giving Roman 
light bathes its ruined buildings with joy, all their 
varieties of texture and colour will be at once easily 
seen and soon appreciated ; browns, greys, whites, and 

' fl) 1 ■* 4 J 

*"'^OHM. BoNi directing Excavation at the Niger Lapis 


chromes forming beautiful chords of colour, let aloue the 
plots of iris, laurel, and oleander, and the abundant roses. 

The Excavaiions were commenced ^ by Oommendatore 
Boni in December 1898, after being long and thoroughly 
pondered by him, and in the teeth of spiteful opposition 
and envious depreciations. The removal of the mediae- 
val paving-stones some sixteen yards east of the Arch 
of Severus presently exposed the Niger Lapis, or black 
marble pavement — popularly known as the Niger Lapis, 
' Tomb of Romulus.' Let us, therefore, begin at this 
point ; and, indeed, no more befitting one could well be 
selected ; for situated, as the spot is, in front of the 
Curia or Senate-house, rebuilt by Diocletian (a.d. 284- 
305) on the site of former ones (and which the late 
Detlefsen so acutely identified), this was adjudged by 
the explorer to correspond to the position of the 
*Comitium.' It should be remembered that the 
street passing through the Arch of Severus was only 
an addition of the sixteenth century. 

The Comitium was a small inaugurated area in front of 
the Curia, fenced off from the adjacent streets (E. and W. ) 
and the Forum, and originally used (1) by the Patrician 
Burgesses, who collected in it to vote ; (2) by the Prstor 
Urbanus, who in it exercised his magisterial authority, 
seated upon a tribunal ; (3) and by various of the most 
important priesthoods upon stated feast-days, i.e. by 
the chief priest of Rome, the Rex Sacrorum, or repre- 
sentative of the religious functions of the kings, who 
sacrificed at an altar within it ^ ; by the Salii, or 
dancing priests of Mars, who danced and sang the 

^ He first searched the Cella and Podiam of Vesta, then the 
site of the altar of Jalins Ciesar, then the prolongation of the 
Flavian Rostra. 

^ February 24. The Regifnginm. Qoando rex comitiavit fas. 


Carmen Saliare in it; and by the Yestals, who 
there celebrated a portion of one of the most ancient 
sacrificial rites of the Roman religions, namely, the 
Fordicidia (Ap. 15), or sacrifice of pregnant cows, the 
ashes of whose calves were to be used as a sympathetic 
charm for procuring fertility to the crops, after being 
mixed with the flour of the Mola salsa, or sacramental 
cake made by them. It was, besides, adorned with the 
Ficus rumindlis, or sacred fig-tree, transported thither, 
like the wolf, miraculously (it was held) from the Luper- 
cal on the south-west angle of the Palatine ; and, in 
the course of time, it became further decorated with a 
number of favoured statues, such as those of Attus 
Navius, the augur, who cut the whetstone with a razor ; 
of Horatius Cocles ; of Marsyas, the piper of Celsena, 
who rashly competed with Apollo, and lost his life for his 
presumption ; that of Alcibiades, and a Puteal, above 
the spot where the razor and whetstone had been buried. 
But besides these the Comitium included a locus religiosus 
et fimestus ^ of primary ritual importance, namely, the 
reputed or intended burial-place of the founder of Rome. 
Yarro says that Romulus was buried behind the Rostra, 
that is, from the Forum. If that was so, the ancient 
rostra (Rostra Vetera) stood in its immediate vicinity, 
and from them funeral orations were delivered.^ On 
January 11, 1899, there came to light the above- 
mentioned pavement, composed, as one may see, of 
slabs nine inches think (27 cms.), like a mourning veil, 
made of Marmor Celticum,^ measuring twelve feet by 
thirteen and a half, fenced in on three sides by irregular, 
upright slabs of white marble, taken from late imperial 

^ Like the Tarpeian rock. 

' Ut mortal laadarentar. 

' Not Tssnariam, as at first was thought. 


r Z' 


• * • 

• • •. 



• • 


• 5 J W J 

Sacra Via just before the Finding of Nigbb Lapis 


buildings, and set in a frame of travertine. Beneath 
this frame occurred another one of the same material 
and rather better in make, presenting, moreover, the 
earlier orientation; and under that occurred the tufo 
pavement of a yet earlier period, telling us surely that 
the precious and unique black pavement, which must hide 
secrets we were hoping to see revealed, had been raised 
and re-orientated to suit the levels of Imperial times. 

The exploration of the spot was deferred until the 
early summer of 1899, by which time through all the 
cracks and joints of the black stones arose a perfect 
embroidery of the small convolvulus,^ or bindweed, the 
long, white, cord-like roots of which were presently 
found starting from deep layers of sacrificial and other 
strata covering the various early monuments soon to 
be revealed below. Those who saw it will not forget 
the sight. Layer by layer was now carefully scruti- 
nised, and first there was found the truncated and 
uninjured tufo cone set upon a rectangular base. Next 
appeared the broken stela, tallest of the monumental 
relics by 7 cms. Then were laid bare the two parallel 
pedestdU^ accurately facing north, conjoined on the 
south side by a broad band of the same masonry, and so 
forming a frame-base. These pedestals displayed bold 
Etruscan moulding well-preserved, though the eastern 
one was broken and wrenched a little. The fragments 
of the latter retain the positions in which they were 
discovered, but they have been fitted with metal covers 
to preserve them from the weather. 

Between them and equi-distant occurred a sacrificial 

1 How different from the cypresses which probably once 
stood here by itifune^ta et cUra! Cypresses were asually planted 
by Roman tombs. 

3 2 m. 61 cms. in length ; by 1 m. 30 cms. in width. 


stone, or oblong base of tufo, while behind them lay 
remains of a long altar of the same material. Whatever 
had stood upon these pedestals and foundations in old 
times had entirely vanished. But Yarro having men- 
tioned that two lions were said to have been placed at 
the Tomb of Romulus, naturally the pedestals have been 
associated wibh the idea ; and, indeed, lions have been 
found in Etruria, used decorative! y and symbolically 
for a similar purpose. But no vestige of the missing 
ones has been found hera 

Near the westernmost pedestal stands the monolithic 
tufo cone, perhaps representing a present Divinity. At 
a distance of but four feet behind this is seen the in- 
scribed quadrangular stela, or square post, more than 
one-half of which had been demolished, and it was found 
to be wrenched slightly askew from its base. Bevilled 
on each of its angles, it is inscribed with large archaic 
lettering on all the four sides and on one bevil. After 
much natural controversy the inscription, imperfect as 
of course it is, is held to relate to the sacred spot where 
it was found, and to refer to sacred appointments, such 
as Sacrifices and Feasts. It ends with the excommuni- 
catory * Jovts estod,* i,e, * Let him be slain.' 

The whole of these monuments were enveloped with 
sacrificial material resting upon sandy breccia and a 
layer of white pebbles. 

The sacrificial stratum proved rich in votive remains, 
mostly of archaic character, including figurines of bronze 
and bone, beads, dice, pottery, rings, knuckle-bones, 
spindle-whorls, and fibulse, the most curious and first- 
found of which was an ugly figurine of a hydrocephalic 
augur (?) with a curved wand or lituus held in his hands 
transversely. All these objects are now in the little 
official museum on the Clivus Sacra Yia. Several 


JAN 1899. MARCH 1900. 


2. NiG£R LAPiS: Dotted Line, 



6. pyrei^s, pp- ^^^^ 


pieces (chips) of the rare black marble occurred among 
them, as if purposely held to be sacred and votive. 
Kone had smooth sides. The bones of the sacrificial 
victims proved to belong to bulls, boars, and rams: 
suovetaurilia. Some also belonged to a dog and a wolf. 
Altogether twenty-three strata were distinguished in 
the excavation at or around this point, which have since 
been increased to twenty-seven in exploring neighbour- 
ing portions of the Oomitium, and the Forum proper. 

There remains to be noted: (1) that no relics of 
Bomulus were to be found ; (2) that all the monu- 
ments had suffered violence ; (3) then had been de- 
liberately smothered with sax;rificial material at no 
extremely remote period ; (4) committed to the gods of 
the Lower World, and covered over with a solid and 
unique pavement of black marble. The stela and 
pedestals considerably antedate the period of the Gallic 
invasion, and thus are not likely to have escaped the 
wreck and pollution of the revered monuments at that 
period. This admitted, they would have been cleansed 
and expiated after the departure of the Gaul. But the 
upper strata around the stela (which, even in its broken 
condition, is the tallest of the group of monuments), in 
spite of some of their contents, do not admit of identifi- 
cation with so early a date ; while it seems probable 
that the black marble pavement has once or twice 
been raised from its original level, which must there- 
fore have once touched the top of the stela and 
rested upon it. The Niger Lapis has also been re- 
dressed, perhaps twice. The tendency of archsBO- 
logical opinion, with certain exceptions, is to attribute 
the spoliation of these memorials to the tumults 
which occurred between the Plebs and the Patricians 
in the days of the Gracchi, when the adjoining 


Rostra Vetera were often broken down and had to be 

expiated. Yet, if all that violence happened upon the 

site of the tomb of Romulus, it is remarkable that 

Horace should have thought, ninety years later only, 

that the bones of Romulus were still lying on that spot 

to be scattered maybe by the profane violence of some 

barbarian invader. Evidently, neither the sacking of 

the city by the Gauls, nor the wrecking of the Comitium 

by the Plebs, had disturbed the tomb of Romulus, as far 

as was known to the poet, who, during the Civil War, 

wrote : 

* Barbaras hea cineres insistet victor et Urbem 

Eques sonante verberabit angnla, 
Qnseqae carent ventis et solibus ossa Quirini, 

Nefas videre ! dissipabit insolens.' 

— Epodon Liber, 16. 

Yet, in Carmen, iii. 3, Horace adroitly utilises the 
other legend, of Romulus having been translated to the 
skies. It reminds us that the Egyptians used to show 
the grave of their god, Osiris. 

It would, however, have seemed an event of exceed- 
ingly ill-omen to have profaned the Founder's Sepulchre. 
But the most formidable difficulty of many does not lie 
here. The successive strata, being regularly superposed, 
and having been but little disturbed, show that they had 
gradually swallowed up the various monuments after the 
sculptured lions had been deliberately removed. Thus, 
while the pedestals vanished beneath the soil, the lions 
which were once upon them may have remained visible 
for a considerable time. The sacrificial materials be- 
long to an earlier date than their strewment here. 
Hence, perhaps, the origin of the tradition, which 
reached Varro ^ and Dionysius of Halicarnassus,^ as to 
there having been two lions or one lion guarding 

^ Duos leones erectos faisse constat. ^ Dionys. i. 87. 


->Oi o , 

•' ' ' <* o - 



the tomb of Romulus. At some undeterminable date 
the stela and the cone must have stood out well 
above them. But as time went on the lions were 
intentionally removed. Perhaps one remained longer 
than his fellow. The pedestals were seen no more. 
The rising tide of successive strata — the redressing, in 
fact, of the entire Comitium {piano regolatore) as need 
periodically arose and re-arose — now had only the cone 
and stela to deal with. As these slowly seemed to 
descend, the top of the stela (7 cm& higher than the 
cone) became more liable to damage. No fragment 
of it occurred in excavating the lower strata; so 
that unless it was broken off at an earlier period and 
carried away, we must conclude that it suffered muti- 
lation, possibly at comparatively a late date, for want 
of protection. Some reverent person repaired this 
religious scandal. 

The general impression, however, given by the ap- 
pearances of the group is that of a coetaneous and 
uninterrupted spoliation. Professor Comparetti thinks 
the stela may originally have been of the height of a 
man. It has in this case but a fourth of its height. 
The blow which knocked off its top wrenched it askew 
upon its then hidden grooved base. For so it appeared 
when found. Had the base been free of the pressing 
weight of soil around it, the whole stela would have 
been then overturned. Had it been deliberately 
shortened, in order to suit the levelling of the 
Comitium at a later date, such violence as was used 
upon it would have been unnecessary. Hence we may 
accept that it suffered, with its adjoining relics, from 
exposure during a tumult or tumults, rather than at 
the hands of sacrilegious curators who re-paved the 
Comitium in Caasar's time and before. 


All the monuments of this group, as already men- 
tioned, were found enveloped in the seventh or sacrificial 
stratum.^ Whether this latter was due to sacrifices on a 
large scale offered at the spot, or whether it was brought 
from early ritual deposits hard by and spread there, 
is not ascertainable ; but it must not escape note, if we 
adopt the former hypothesis, that the figurines of bronze 
and ivory were found, almost all of them, around the 
stela, although without observing any special regularity 
of deposition. The pottery and vases were none of 
them whole, and the general character of the 'stipe' 
was decidedly archaic. 

The sixth stratum, i.e. that above the sacrificial, 
composed chiefly of beaten-up morsels of tufo, formed 
the bed for the Republican tufo pavement of the 
Comitium, which reveals the ancient orientation. This 
stratum consequently covered over the stela. It is pro- 
bable that whoever placed the ritual deposit here also 
placed the decorative Niger Lapis over the entire area 
occupied by these various monuments ; that same solid 
pavement which has since undergone lifting, redressing, 
and re-orientation in later days. 

The pavement was therefore originally of larger 
dimensions than those it now presents ; how much 
larger, it is not possible to say. Whoever laid it, 
whether Cs&sar or Sulla, that person was doubtless 
informed accurately of the area occupied by the tradi- 
tional tomb of Romulus and its adjacent monuments. It 
may be doubted, however, whether these monuments 
(i.e. stela and cone) were 'covered, or intended to be 
covered, by it. It may well have been intended 
solely to cover the traditional tomb of Romulus, and 
have thus been at first symmetrical and coincident 

^ 40 cms. in thickness, resting on riverine sand and pebbles. 


with the lines binding that monument and its ac- 
cessories. Its northern side measures the same length 
as that of the combined pedestals. Yerrius Flaccus, 
who taught Caius and Lucius Caesar in the house of 
Augustus upon the Palatine, knew how the Niger 
Lapis was regarded in his day ; and his epitomist, 
Festus (a century or so later), has left us the passage 
(177) now so famous, which leapt to the mind of the dis- 
coverer, as I recollect, almost as soon as he had found 
it. I seem to hear him pronouncing the words to me 
on the spot as he did when the first squares of the 
wonderful marble with crystal veins came to light: 
' Niger Lapis in Comitio locum f unestum significat, ut 
alii Bomuli morti destinatum^ sed non usu obvenisse ut 
ibi sepeliretur/ &c. This accorded with the tradition, 
of which Plutarch was aware, namely, that the death of 
Romulus did not take place (as one ancient legend has 
it) in the Caprean Marsh of the Campus Martins, but 
that he was slain by the senators at the neighbouring 
Yolcanal, or original 'rostral ' platform, i.e. on his throne. 
As several fragments of the same marble (found 
nowhere else in Rome) have since been met with 
embedded in the walls and floor of the longitudinal 
and transverse galleries certainly made by Julius 
Caesar, travelling beneath the Forum, there is some 
reason to attribute the placing of the Niger Lapis in 
the Comitium to his account, although it would seem 
more reasonable to the present writer to attribute to 
Caesar the first re-orientation of the pavement, and thus 
to account for the odd broken pieces of black marble 
finding their way into his other work. La that case 
the Niger Lapis might be referred to the time of Sulla, 
approximately B.C. 80. Whether it replaced any earlier 
black pavement, or was only then set down, in order to 


give the spot its especially sombre character, is not 
proven. No traces of such an early pavement have 
come to light, and if the spot was regarded as ' funes- 
tus ' in early days, that character was marked in some 
other manner. The moulded pedestals for the missing 
lions may be safely dated to the sixth century b.c., 
while the stela with its Boustrophedic ^ inscription, 
may belong to a yet remoter period, albeit the writing 
does not discover to us its date, seeing that we do not 
know precisely down to which century archaic epi- 
graphy of this character survived. The inscriber can- 
not be congratulated on his skill. Some of the letters 
are four inches in length, and some are only three. 
He seems to have miscalculated like a child the space 
demanded by his inscription, and consequently he was 
compelled to finish it on one of the four bevelled 
angles. There have probably (as was thought at the 
time) been two different hands at work upon it. So 
far as the meaning of the words can be now gathered, 
they refer to: (1) Sacred ordinances and the Rex Sao- 
rorum, or chief state-priest; (2) the sanctity of the 
spot. The Rex Sacrorum (as observed) was wont to 
sacrifice annually in the Comitium on February 24, 
celebrating there a very obscure purificatory rite, in 
company with the Salian priests of Mars called the 

These stratifications (i.e, sacrificial, and gravel 40 
cms.) were found to be interrupted immediately east 
(55 cms.) of the pedestals by a Republican sustaining 
wall of small squared blocks of tuf o, and they did not 
take up again beyond it ; while on the south-west side 
of them occur foiur steps to a platform of tufo, which 

1 A vertical inscription backwards and forwards, as an oz- 
team ploughs a field. 

Early Bepitblican (Nobth) Makgib of Forum, 

BEAH NiGEB Lapis (1900) 

(Stnoe covered up) 


are attributable to the early Rostrum,^ the same which 
became decorated with the beaks of the Yolscian 
ships taken at Antium in b.g. 338. Immediately 
north of the Niger Lapis, a mediaeval well had been 
sunk, which, besides a quantity of burnt hay, contained 
marble transennce belonging to a church of the ninth or 
tenth century and a number of glazed water-jars, some 
dating as late as the fourteenth century. 

At the time of the foregoing excavation the re- 
mainder of the Comitium still lay beneath a lofty 
bank reaching as far as the Church of S. Adriano, 
and the tramway from the Suburra (Via Cavour) 
passing over the north-west end of the site of the 
Basilica Emilia, came round in front of that church. 
Owing, however, to the contemporaneous purchasing of 
certain houses belonging to the Fiore family by Mr. 
Lionel Phillips, Guido Baccelli, the then Minister of 
Public Instruction, saw his way to compel the tramway 
company to alter their course, and pass it behind 
instead of before this church, and thus to surrender 
to archaeological exploration this invaluable site.^ 

No sooner was this work put in hand than Com- 
mendatore Boni commenced the extension of his 
exploration, and presently found himself (as was not 
to be wondered at) cutting and clearing the gruesome 
graveyard of S. Adriano, through which the above 
mediaeval well and another had been sunk for drinking- 
water. The human remains naturally lay at various 

^ *Post rostrum sepulohrum Romuli' {SchU, HoraL), These 
rostra were restored at least three times. 

3 Comm. Boni wrote me in October 1899 : * I am now cutting off 
the electric tram so as to ezcayate the Comitium, as yon hoped 
would be done. The Domns Publica becomes more and more in- 
teresting, revealing new rooms with very beautiful pavements. ' 



levels. The excavation proceeded first along the eastern 
side of the area of the Comitium, gradually enveloping 
the central portion, and finally reaching out as far as 
security for the street (Via Bonella) above it permitted, 
on the western side, where, however, one of the most 
important of the remains of the Imperial monuments of 
the Comitium was destined to be discovered, namely, 
the pedestal dedicated to Mars and the Founders. 

Meantime, running west and east, were followed out 
two lines of augured pits, most of them of rectangular, 
but some few of polygonal form ; the more marked of the 
latter are seen immediately north of the Niger Lapis. 
In all, of this series twenty-one remained, though 
many of these are mutilated, owing to the aggressions 
of later monuments, while some have been cut away 
by the Cloaca.^ They rise from Republican strata, 
having walls of tufo. They were full of earth, but 
contained no ritual remains, having no doubt been 
deliberately cleared of such in ancient times. Some 
archsBologists have been reminded by them of the stone- 

^ The exploration of the southernmost of these lines of augaral 
pits was full of interest ; for as the Cloaca (till then called 
Maxima) became exposed, the level at which it was carried 
confirmed the explorer in his belief that it could not be what 
it was supposed to be. It was found to have acted as a 
diaphragma in the vicinity of the Niger Lapis, preventing the 
outflow of rain-waters there ; and now, it was further seen 
to have cut one of the augural pits in its construction. 
On examining its walls, they were shown to be none too well 
masonried with materials stolen from various Republican build- 
ings. This drain may be attributed, therefore, not to Tarquinius, 
but to Agrippa. The hydrostatic problem presented by the 
Comitium afforded the excavator the satisfaction of lowering 
the filtration waters which invaded the tomb of Romulus, and 
equilibriating them by means of an automatic syphon with the 

The Curia (phom Basilica Julia) 


' • 


fencings which protected the sacred trees; others, of the 
Doliola, or places for votive gifts to the gods of the 
under-world. A fresh line of similar pits (fosse) found 
in the road between the Forum and the Basilica Julia, 
orientated in Caesar's manner, confirms Commendatore 
Boni in his attribution of them all as augural pits. 
Yet another series has been found since then, in front 
of the Imperial rostra, and another running beneath 
the Temple of Julius, and marking the eastern boundary 
of the Forum. 

In a line from the right or south-eastern side of the 
Church of S. Adriano (Curia), the boundary of the 
Comitium.was found to be defined by a line of marble 
pedestals, some still in site, bearing laudatory and super- 
lative inscriptions to the later Emperors and Prefects. 
Immediately east of these inins the selce-paven 
Argiletum, a street dividing the Curia and Comitium 
from the Basilica i^milia. On the line of these 
pedestals (which at that time became covered with 
the unearthed skulls and bones of the cemetery) ap- 
peared a conglomerated mass of stone and marble 
containing many other late inscriptions; the whole 
apparently having served as the base for an early 

: campanile to the Church. The latter was dedicated 
first as a Christian shrine in a.d. 630, or one hundred 

I and fifty-eight years after the extinction of the western 
Empire. In the wall of the church itself now become 

' exposed several lociUi or graves containing the remains 
of early patrons and prelates of S. Adriano ; some of 
these being individually buried, the graves of others in- 
vaded by masses of odd and end bones. As the fa9ade 
wall became cleared some of the inionaco or stucco (once 
entirely veneered with white marble) was found still 

, adhering to the surface. West of the door, a fragment 


of the Imperial dado-moulding and veneer actually re- 
mains, having escaped the destruction wrought, not by 
the Yandals, but by the Christian sextons of the seventh 
and eighth centuries. The former positions of the 
door of the church can be easily traced in the clumsy 
filling-in, travelling up to the present position, and 
sometimes comically leaving the bases of its former 
jambs behind it. The noble original doors of bronze 
must have worked upward in this manner with the 
rubbish levels from say a.d. 630 until 1654, when 
Alexander YII. transferred them to the western 
entrance of the Basilica of S. Giovanni Laterano, 
where they remain. 

In the lowest portion of this filling-in (where now, 
reclosed up, appears a rough-cut arched recess) the 
explorer pierced the wall, which was, of course, ill 
made up of broken lumps of porphyry columns and 
other architectonic remains, and presently came 
straight on to the latest edition of the senatorial 
pavement of the Curia. This proved to be a patchwork 
of fine marbles, many having fragments of inscriptions, 
and promising a valuable mine to future epigraphists 
— albeit most of those legible in the limited space 
then cleared belong to the fifth century. 

The monks of S. Adriano, however, became both 
alarmed and not a little indignant at these proceed- 
ings. The excavation of the Basilica iEmilia had by 
this seriously been commenced, and their convent 
overlooking that site had become noisy, dusty, and 
almost unsafe. Now their very church seemed to be 
undermined. As they naturally complained to the 
Cardinal-Yicar, further explorations of the Curia had 
to be deferred, and the aperture was duly closed. One 
of the monks plainly told the writer that he had heard 


him lecture on the Basilica iEmilia, on the occasion 
which resulted in the excavation thereof, and he knew 
not only that he was an out-and-out Pagan, but that 
he made others so, and ' spread the poison everywhere 
by means of a vain enthusiasm/ 'Tou'U want S. 
Lorenzo in Miranda next, or S. Maria Liberatrice.' 

Below this opening was cleared the projecting tufo 
platform which had carried the original marble stairs 
of the Curia. The steps themselves are traceable on 
the eastern extremity near a Republican well. To the 
right of the door stood a marble sarcophagus, with 
baccdlcUuraf or S-grooved ornamentation, while two 
terra-cotta ones, similar to those found later at S. 
Maria Antiqua, stood in front of the door. In the well, 
which is 37 feet deep, were found fragments of neatly- 
moulded stucco with polychrome decorations, attribut- 
able, possibly, to the Augustan Curia. Beneath this plat- 
form the aforesaid sextons of the church had formed an 
ossuary chamber. Under this lay a Republican tank, 
containing pottery, cups, and jars, and some bivalves. 

The space, or central area of the Comitium, lying 
between these steps and the Kiger Lapis, was presently 
cleared down to the travertine pavement now visible. 
In this was found set a shallow marble basin, measur- 
ing 15 feet in diameter, having in midst of it the 
rectangular setting-lines for the support of the upper 
basin or cup of the fountain. Professor Huelsen thinks 
a cantharus may have adorned it rather than a foun- 
tain ; and he recalled the fact that Pirro Ligorio ^ had 

^ This sixteenth-centnry Neapolitan architect and antiquary 
sometimes tells the truth ; at others amuses himself with forging 
inscriptions or inventing designs upon slight suggestions. He 
is therefore a perilous authority. His abilities are displayed 
at the Villa d'Este. 


mentioned the finding of a great porphyry vase here. 
The fountain basin (9 cms. thick) is^ however, of late 
Imperial make, while the pavement around it is post- 
Imperial, the former having been brought probably from 
elsewhere, or re-established, on a later pavement. Below 
this basin the excavation descended 74 cms., to find the 
neatly-cut travertine pavement of the Republican (pre- 
CaBsarean) Comitium observing duly the old orientation. 
The intervening space being occupied (ascending) by 
50 cms. stratum of marble and tufo concrete; 14 cms. 
marble-fiag ; 10 cms. terra-cotta (cocchia pSsta) concrete. 
The whole reposes on a bed of stony tufo, from which, 
at a distance of twenty-two feet from the fa9ade of the 
Curia, rose six tufo stairs, once cased with white marble. 
On the western side of the Comitium was now un- 
earthed a second-century marble pedestal^ bearing upon 
its northern face the dedicatory names of the Consuls 
of A.D. 154: Titus ^Elius Aurelius Commodus, and 
Titus Sextius Lateranus ; on its western face the names 
of forty-three members of the Guild of Carpenters 
(Collegium Fabnim), This had originally, therefore, 
borne some honorary statue or trophy, and had been 
dedicated on the Kalends of August in that year, in the 
reign of Marcus Aurelius, in the name of the Consuls. 
One line of it was erased imperfectly : * Magistri 
Quinq(uennales) Coll(egi) fabr(um).' The other two 
faces of the pedestal, however, at once explained its 
appropriation and presence here ; albeit it is not exactly 
in site, and appears to have suffered an attempted 
removal, having been found slightly tilted and with soil 
remaining between it and the pavement. On its eastern 
face a fourth-century inscription appeared, bearing date 
and the name of FurioB Octaviantui (Curator ^dium 
Sacrarum), The date was in itself interesting, being 


the XI. Calends of May (April 21), otherwise the popu- 
lar festival of the birth of the City (Natalis Urbis); 
and late as the inscription appeared to be, it was par- 
ticularly striking as being associated with Romulus 
and found in the immediate vicinity of the Niger 
Lapis. A hundred-fold, therefore, was interest in- 
creased when on the fourth^ or southern, face being 
exposed and washed, there appeared the words: Marti 


DoMiNUS NosTEB (Imp. Maxentius — purposely, but 
ineffectually, erased) — Pi(us) f(slix) invictus Aug- 


On the upper surface occur three holes for the 
pegs which have supported and fastened to the 
pedestal the base of some piece of sculpture in marble 
or in bronze, sacred to Mars and Rome ; in all pro- 
bability the Wolf and Twins. -^ Moreover, it was dedi- 
cated in the Comitium by the ill-fated and patriotic 
emperor, who named his own son Romulus, and, in 
honour of him dead, built the Heroon Romuli (now 
SS. Cosma and Damiano), and who, similarly, in honour 
of Rome, restored the twin temples on the Yelia, Yenus, 
and Roma, and erected the last of Pagan basilicas in 
the colossal style. No wonder, then, that Maxentius 
entitles himself on his coins ' Conservator urbis sucb* 
We stood for two hours rivetted to the spot, with eyes 
fixed upon the letters of Maxentius's name, peering 
unmistakably through the chisel-marks of Constan- 
tine's destroying hand, thinking of the mighty works 
of the former, and the paltry frauds and petty plun- 
derings of his Christian successor. 

^ Pliny writes that the Wolf was miracnlonsly transferred to 
the Comitium: 'Miracolo ex aare jozta dioato tanqoam in 
Comiiiam sponte transisset.' 



While the foregoing exploration of the Comitium 
was proceeding, the mediaeval levels around the Arch 
of Septimius Sevems were removed, both behind and 
before it. The paven road through the central arch 
of course belonged to the latest of them, having been 
placed there in order to accommodate the absurd and 
sarcastic triumphal procession of Charles Y. 

Several small but valuable fragments belonging to 
the elaborate sculptures of that monument were found, 
which are now replaced in their original positions. 
Immediately west of the third pier (S.) of the Arch, a 
large oval well was found; at the bottom of which, 
however^ nothing more valuable was discovered than 
masses of chickens' bones. Almost adjoining this, the 
spade at the same time uncovered the Ara Volcani, or 


(June 27, 1899), otherwise the altar of the god of Fire, 
and perhaps of summer warmth, whose feast-day was 
August 23, and whose Flamen on May 1 used to sacrifice 
to Maia. 

The ruined Temple of Yulcan at Ostia bears witness 
to the nervous attention paid to this divinity in a 
place once crowded with the inflammable stores for the 
city supplies. Here, too, near the Forum, his sacred 
Area is situate immediately adjacent to that of the 
Sowing god, Saturn (Sfieturnus) and that (formerly) of 
Ops Consiva. A portion of it was appropriated 
by Augustus for the rebuilding on a sumptuous scale 
of the neighbouring Temple of Concordia; but the 
Emperor did not forget to recompense Yulcan by 


sumptuously rehabilitating his altar, and adorning 
the remaining Area with splendid works of art. 

From the earliest traditions of the Forum we derive 
the fact that there was a slightly elevated spot, situated 
west of the Comitium, and adjoining the area of Con- 
cordia, which was sacred to Yulcan, and called * Area 
Vulcani.' Dionysius (lib. 2, c. 50), speaking of Romulus 
and Tatius transacting State-affairs in the Temple of 
Yulcan, describes it as * standing a little above the level 
of the Forum.' Here Appius, the Decemvir, after the 
death of Virginia, harangued the people. The god of 
Fire was, therefore, accorded for his worship a pro- 
minent and central locality adjoining the ancient 
Forum; and seeing how severely Rome suffered at 
all periods from violent conflagrations, it is remark- 
able that his cult should have been allowed to grow out 
of date to such a degree that the Emperor Macrinus 
ventured to suppress the Yolcanalia altogether in a.d. 
217. By a strange coincidence, however, on the very 
day in that year, when this Festival became due, the 
Coliseum was struck by lightning in several places, 
an event which led to its immediate re-establishment 
under Alexander Severus. - For Macrinus did not survive 
his impiety long. As in the ' Sepolcretum,' or ancient 
cemetery of the primitive inhabitants of these hills, are 
now seen fossette, or little bowl-shaped pits around the 
tombs, which were once filled with bowls containing 
fruit and cereals showing the dead to be the guests of 
the god in the lower world, so numbers of similar 
fossette came to light cut in this rock of Yulcan, in 
which offerings to this divinity had been placed. No 
traces of these offerings were, however, discovered. The 
sacrifices to Yulcan, in the private houses (probably as 
a charm, or sympathetic magic, as it is called), against 


outbreaks of fire, consisted of small fish which were 
sold by fisher-folk at this area for the special purpose of 
throwing into the flames at home. Mr. Warde-Fowler 
and Wissowa (to both of whom Archaeology is deeply 
indebted for their conscientious researches into the 
interesting subject of Roman festivals) are unable 
to fully explain thi& In Rome the Gods delighted in 
Trees, and in early days most of their temples possessed 
sacred groves. This primitive tree-worship of the divinity 
in many instances survived and lingered out alongside 
his elaborated ritual of later periods ; and after the tree 
had ceased to be regarded as the home or resort of the 
god, it still continued to be venerated as a glorious 
symbol of fecundity and an annual miracle. Here, 
at the Area of Yulcan^ flourished, even down to Impeiial 
days, a large cypress and a lotus-tree (Plin. H. N. xvi. 
235). It perhaps was not entirely coincidence that 
the cypress-^ was the Persian symbol of pure light; 
while the lotus-tree, especially sacred to Yesta, was 
regarded as the symbol of pure fire. As at the com- 
mencement of every sacrifice, a tuft of the animal's 
hair was thrown on the fire ; so on her entrance to the 
service of Yesta, the hair of each vestal was suspended 
to the sacred lotus * capillata ' in the atrium. 

The Altar, facing the Forum, stood as the preface to the 
Area which it adorned, and it now consists of an oblong 
rectangular mass of rock much mutilated by deliberate 
damage in early days. Hence it was much loftier before 
that spoliation. It measures 2 m. 90 cms. in breadth 
(E.-W.), and 4 m. 95 cms. in length (N.-S.). But when 
curtailed and reframed, the cube was considerably 
reduced. The eastern face of it was covered with 

^ Thongh in Rome, as a rule, its dark compact foliage became 
associated with death and the ander world. 






p Vestal Tbmbnob 

Tub Door and Lavsel of Regia 
(Looking South- West) 


2 cms. of intonaco made of tufo and marble concrete, 
appropriately painted bright vermilion ; and the altar 
at its north-east angle was mended with a block of tufo 
before this intonaco was put on. The block or flag 
close by, opposite the second pier of the Arch of Severus, 
which shows the same colour, Professor Lanciani con- 
siders is a part of this same intonaco. Unfortunately 
this latter intonaco is not composed with marble. So, 
though it no doubt belonged to some edition of the altax, 
it did not, I think, belong to this particular one. 
(C/. Lanciani Bull, Oomm., 1902, p. 125). The early 
morning of June, when this was being first un- 
covered, was a veritable blaze of perfect sunshine, as 
if the Divinities presiding over light and flame were 
expressing their utmost favour; and on the Palatine 
the poppies blazed, while the nightingales gave a 
chorua To the rear of the Yolcanal occurs a network 
of early tufo drains, having important relation to the 
yet unexplored Forum Jnlinm. 

Meantime, other excavations were being carried out, 
both at the Begia and at the iEdes Vesta, while the 
houses of Michele and Antonio Fiore on the high bank 
next the Temple of Antoninus Faustina were being 
rapidly demolished. Between the Temenos, or sacred 
enclosure belonging to Yesta, and the Begia, or Pon- 
tifical Chapter-house, was also opened out the little 
street ^ or lane on which was found a Republican well of 
the pentagonal type,^ having ' pedarole,' or footholee, for 
descent. Out of this well came, besides nearly 300 
vases and terra-cotta weights, a curvilinear fragment 
of its former mouth, which enabled the latter to be 
reconstructed in site ; also several skeletons of weasels 
{mustela vulgaris)y the domestic scavenger in Rome 

» VicM. « Dia. O'Tl. 


before the importation of cats ; and a charming little 
terra-cotta figurine (35 cms. in height) of Yenus, 
footless and headless, with remains of her garment (laid 
aside) coloured a bright vermilion. These will all be 
placed in the new museum behind S. Francesca Romana. 
The wall of the Temenos of Yesta was seen to be of a 
much nobler type of construction than that of the 
Regia opposite, as rebuilt by Calvinus, B.C. 36. The 
former is made of large, well-laid blocks of Peperino 
(in English measures, 1 ft. 10 in. deep, and in length 
varying from 2 ft. 1 in. to 3 ft. 10 in. and 4 ft. 5 in.), 
showing the clinching-holes by which they were gripped, 
The wall of the Regia, on the other hand, is built 
of small squared blocks of tufo, 2 ft long and 1 ft. 
5 in. deep. This probably took the place of a prede< 
cesser made in a better style, close-laid and smooth- 


The Begia, preserving but a portion of its pre- 
CsBsarean area, has nevertheless kept the ancient orien- 
tation. It forms an obtuse-angled edifice, entered on 
its eastern or shortest side, where are remains of its 
steps of access and a marble-framed door. The whole 
building widens out westward toward the Temple of 
Julius CflBsar, part of which latter was erected on a 
portion of ground previously belonging to it, 
and part upon the eastern boundary-street of the 
Forum. In plan the Begia is now, at any rate, 
trapezoidal. Much of the western side is roughly 
constructed of blocks of travertine. Attached to 
this would seem to have stood the Office of the 
Kalatores Fontificum et Flaminum, who were freedmen 


attached to the Sacred College. A marble block 
inscribed with their name was found reversed here, 
the remainder of which had been discovered in 1546 
by the Farnese plunderers of the Forum. The whole 
inscription runs, .' In honorem domus Augustse 
Kalatores pontificum et Flaminum.' The northern 
face of the Regia is bounded by travertine steps 
rising from the Sacra Via opposite the Temple of 
Faustina. These steps were now cleared. They are, 
however, belonging to post-Imperial days, when the 
Regia was no longer the office of a Sacred College. The 
northern wall of the Regia was found a little behind 
them. The whole building rose upon tufo foundations. 
The debased entrance-door, if not post-Imperial, is at 
any rate of the late empire, and perhaps has but one 
merit, that it^ in all likelihood, occupies the site of an 
earlier one. 

It is manifest that here, within the immediate circle 
of buildings comprising the Regia, the Atrium of 
Yesta, and the shrine of that goddess, we are standing 
full in the religious centre of ancient Rome. To the 
walls of the former were wont to be affixed the Fasti 
Triumphales and Consulares, many fragments of which 
were found here in dr. 1545. This characteristic is 
indicative of the nature of the Sacred Chapter-House. 
For the Fontifices were theologians and jurists, of 
supreme authority as referees : ' Judex atque arbiter 
habetur rerum divinarum, humanarumque ' (Festus, 29). 
Hence from this spot we may say that jurisprudence 
grew and flourished, like the sacred Bay-tree. The 
Pontiffs knew all religious precedents, but their Head 
was not Chief -Priest. Even the Pontifex Maximus 
ranked beneath the Rex Sacrorum, who virtually was 
the High -priest in Rome and chief expounder of 


sacred law {fas). Neither were the Fontifices 
fully magistrates. They were accorded no right of 
addressing the people, or of inflicting punishment 
themselves, except in the case of the Yestals and 
Flamens, who were regarded as the ritual family of 
the State,^ and the Fontifex Maximus as their pater- 
familias. Religious misdemeanours were adjudged 
by him and the College, but the penalties were 
inflicted by the Consul, except, again, in the case 
of the Vestals or Flamens. The offence of a Vestal, 
such as neglect of duty, was punished by the Fontifex 
without consulting the College. If, however, it was 
an offence against chastity, the whole College assembled, 
and the Fontifex Maximus decided the verdict. For the 
Vestals were elected by the College. The magisterial 
power, even in such a case, was limited to dealing with 
the delinquent. Her paramour was scourged to death 
on the Comitium by the Frsetor Urbanus.^ But as far 
as priests were concerned in Rome, the pontiffs gave 
their advice in all cases of difficulty. The office of 
Fontifex Maximus did not exclude its holder from other 
civil and religious offices. He might even at the same 
moment be Consul, Augur, and Decemvir Sacrorum. 
His actual residence throughout the later days of 
the Republic was the Domus Publica, Caesar's dwel- 
ling at the time of his death, but last occupied, until 
his decease b.c. 12, by ^milius Lepidus. Augustus, 
then living on the Falatine, gave up the historic palace 

1 In the days of the kings the College coDsisted of five ponti- 
fices, including the king. After the expnlsion it remained 
composed of four only. After B.C. 300 it was raised to eight. 
In B.C. 57 there were fifteen. Ciesar added one more. 

3 Cf. the case of Lucius Gantilius and Feronia, who was 
beaten in the Comitium * ut inter verbera expiraret ' (Liv, 
lib., 22, 57). 


and site to the Vestals, so as to extend their abode 
into more magnificent dimensions. The remains of the 
latter, as restored by Julia, Empress of Severus, now 
occupy the site, but disclose important relics of the 
other building. 

The chief documents of state import kept at the 
Begia were : — 

1. The Libri Pontificum, or list of the College and 
its former members. 

2. The Acta, or professional transactions of the 

3. Formulas of all kinds of prayer, vows, sacrifices, 
and dedications. 

4. Prescriptions of ritual. 

5. Decretals and commentariea 

6. State Calendars (fasts, &c.). 

7. Annales. Events of each year for public reference. 

8. Leges Regise. Canon laws relating to marriage^ 
wills, death-duties, &c. 

All priests wore a long white robe, purple-bordered, 
and called Pretexta. 

The Begia, however, contained things still more 
important in the shape of certain small shrines. These 
were sacred respectively to Mars, Ops Consiva, and 
Janua After the debris was cleared within the eastern 
doorway, opposite which two bay laurels now once 
more flourish, the excavator stood on a platform of 
flags (0*20 m.) of tufo-gidllOy interrupted by a slightly 
conical circular platform of gray tufo (btgio), having 
a diameter of 2*53 m. This important base of a 
shrine in all probability belongs to the Sacrarimn of 
Mars, in which the ' Hastse Martis,' or two symbolical 
spears of Mars, were suspended, whose vibrations were 
in Republican days regarded with profound anxiety; 


in fact, as Comm. Boni remarked at the time, they 
constituted a sort of primitive seismograph for the 
registration of telluric disturbances.^ Here also were 
kept the Ancilia, or shields of Mars, which were taken 
forth by the Salii, or before-mentioned dancing priests 
of Mars, and borne by them in their New Year's Day 
procession through Rome (March 1). The two laurels 
originally grew in front of this * Sacrarium Martis,' 
being sacred to that divinity. Hence their presence 
at the Regia. It is expressly related by the historians 
that when the Regia was burned in B.C. 148 the laurels 
alone escaped. A bronze As, or Republican coin, bear- 
ing the effigies of Janus, and a spindle-whorl, were found 
beside it. 

North a little of this was found a Republican well 
similar to that in the lane.^ It contained a few 
knuckle-bones (astragcUt) and the skeleton of a weasel. 
Further in the same direction was uncovered another 
circular podium occupying a small square platform 
(0*89 m.). This is obviously of the same nature as the 
former and larger sacrarium, and may have belonged to 
Janus. Eastward close to this came the important dis- 
covery of the Tholes. This was discovered before the 
Sacrarium Martis, which latter, curiously enough, was un- 
earthed on the day of a violent earthquake in August 
1899, whereas the Tholos began being explored on June 
13 of that year. (From the neck, measuring 1*20 m., it 
expanded as the spade and pail went down, until it 
attained and kept a width of 3 '02 m. The total depth 

1 Cf, Aulas GeU, 4, 6, 2. *Quod. C. JuUua Lucu fiUus, Ponti- 
fez nuntiavit, in Sacrario Requb bastas Martias movisse, de ea 
re ita censuerant.' Prayers were offered likewise to Vesta and 
Bona Dea to keep off earthquakes. Cf. Lydus. de MenSj 4, 52. 

3 The deepest in the Forum, 14 metres^ 

South Wall op Regia (Republican) 



was 4*36 m.). This second store, or penus^ was well 
preserved, and although full of water and mud, 
had been carefully lined on its exterior, like that 
other ancient tholos by the House of Livia on the 
Palatine, with a thick layer of chocolate clay from the 
quarries of lava near Cecilia Metella on the Via Appia, 
measuring 0*50 m. The interior was found to be 
lined with four distinct coats of fine white cement. 
The pit, therefore, was a sacred store, carefully and 
constantly protected against percolations from without. 
The bottom was reached at 17 feet and found to be 
slightly concave, and lined with opus stgnirmm, with 
a moulding running around its circumference. Half- 
way down in it began to be encountered pieces of 
medisBval pots and bowls and the bones of farmyard 
animals. At a lower depth things became more in- 
teresting. In one afternoon twenty-six bone styli, or 
pens, of various sizes were brought up in the pail. 
These afterwards increased to seventy-eight With 
them was also found a blackened oaken writing-tablet, 
which bore evidences of having been much used. Of 
course the wax had entirely vanished, but the sharp 
points of ancient pens had penetrated occasionally and 
left clear though undecipherable marks. It measured 
0*102 by 0*045 m. One could not but attribute the 
presence of these numerous pens fallen into this sacred 
graiuHstore to the repeated accidental slippings from 
the hand, or from behind the ear perhaps, of the 
stewards or accountants of the pontifical college. At 
the very bottom a travertine fragment of a well-mouth 
was found, which surprised us by revealing in Repub- 
lican letters the word ' Rbgia,' This compact variety 
of travertine comes not from Bagni, but Sgurgola. 
In this Tholos was recognised the saeraritim of Ops 


ConsiTa, whose harvest-festival took place August 25. 
<Ops Consiva, quoius in Regia Sacrarium, quod ideo 
actum ut eo prseter Yirgines Yestales et sacerdotem 
publicum introeat nemo ' (Yarro, L. L., 6, 20). Here, 
therefore, was a State-granary; apparently somewhat 
of a rival to the Penus Yestse ; though, as the above 
words show, the Yestals and the Rex Sacrorum alone 
could enter it, representing the sacred kingly family. 
Ops was represented in sculpture by a matron holding 
a loaf in her left hand, as if ready to succour the 
needy. People paid homage to her in a sitting 

The Tholos probably owned a little court to itself, 
strictly under lock and key. The styli were for the 
most part beautifully turned, and the users had in 
many instances been in the habit of gnawing the 
rounded knob used for erasing errors in the wax. 
Comm. Boni reminded me at the time, of the trade, 
to which the captive son of Perseus, King of Macedon, 
was brought up in Rome, of making styli. Their 
varied shapes almost suggest the variety of characters 
in their owners. Some are short and stubby, others 
are long and graceful ; some have evidently been 
favourites with their owners, others have had but 
little usage, or were soon lost in this granary. 

One excavation now took place also around the entire 
circuit, or peribolus, of the Yestal Shrine, which proved 
to be deep-set in a bed of golden sand ; while another 
began on the Sacra Yia by SS. Cosma and Damiano, 
although certain archsBologists, asseverating that the 
surface of the Sacra Yia at that point and onwards was, 
beyond question^ a noble avenue made by Maxentiua, 
uttered strong, but fortunately ineffectual, protests. 

• •• <«> 




The podium of the j3Edes Vest© has survived many 
partial destructions since the original fire-hut, or Focus 
Fublicus, had perished in the Gaulish invasion, b.o. 390. 
It is by no means a shapeless mass of tufo; but it 
descends smoothly and evenly all round into its bed 
of sand, so that the true diameter can be very pre- 
cisely determined. It is built of tufo lionato, with the 
grey lime mortar characteristic of pre-Imperial con- 
structions. The diameter is roughly fifty feet English 
(or 15'05 m.) and it sinks seven feet deep (or 2*17 m.). 
It is interrupted in the centre by a trapezoidal pit, 
orientated in the ancient manner. Around and above 
this rose the cireolar platform upon which the many- 
times-restored little building arose, with its two concen- 
tric rings of fluted columns. As the pit, or favissa, bore 
no cement linings or marble, and contained no ashes, 
its meaning is by no means clear; although it made 
one think of the ash-pit from which were taken the 
ritual ashes by the Vestals each year (June 15) 
('quando stercus delatum fas') and carried to the 
Porta Stercoraria in the Servian wall on the Capitol, 
there to be distributed to the air over the Campus 
Martins as a ritual charm, or benediction,^ for the 
coming harvests. All the burnt fuel and ashes of 
the victims was wont to be then removed from the 
shrine, and the day was observed as a solemn feast. 
The exploration round the peribolus, however, soon 
showed that if the ashes had been removed from 
the central pit, plenty of them remained elsewhere. 
There was, in fact, a ring of ashes, often imperfectly 

1 Ad tellurem alendam. 


combusted, both of wood (oak and cypress) and bones 
of many sacrificial animals. But their presence re- 
called to mind that they might belong rather to some 
pontifical ritual taking place here rather than to the 
Yestals and their own especial sacrifices. For the Shrine 
of Vesta, in a certain sense, was virtually the chief 
Sacrarium of the Regia. Upon subjecting the material 
to analysis, it became evident that the bones repre- 
sented pigs, dogs, and lambs, but that most of these 
had belonged to animals in the milking stage. Among 
them also occurred fragments of small skyphoi, oinochoe, 
paterae,^ and ritual vessels, of black bucchero and Cam- 
panian ware, together with u£2s rude^ or lumps of metal 
exchange weighing 114, 75, 44, 24, 15 grams. 

The nucleus so shattered and ruined above this deep 
foundation bears evidences of the Flavian restoration 
in opas quadratum, or squared stone of tufo lionato, 
finely-fitting, and presenting a carefully-combed surface. 
The restorations of Lucilla, cir. a.d. 185, are possibly 
represented by the tufo concrete^ while the latest^ those 
of Julia Domna, show tufo giallo. 

Since those days there have been collected from 
various excavations in the Forum and Palatine a 
great number of fragments belonging to the shrine 
and the Domus, most of them coming from the site 
hard-by, formerly occupied by the Church of S. Maria 
Liberatrice. In consequence, corrector notions of 
the architecture of these buildings can be obtained 
than was possible heretofore. The inter-columnia- 
tions have thus been determined, as well as the 
mouldings and decorations of the external frieze; the 
manner of the openings or windows, by which the 

^ ''Calices fictiles, qaibus Fontifices viiginesque Vestales 
atebantor/'— Acron. ad Hor., Od. 1, 31, 11. 


smoke of the sacred fire (ignis perpetuus) was let out ; 
and the door by which the building was entered, at 
least in the edifice as reconstructed in the reign of 
Severus (a.d. 193-211). The marble is from Luna 
(Carrara). A circular graceful shrine such as this was, 
stilted up on a lofty platform, safe from Tiber floods 
and their pollutions, adorned with two concentric circles 
of columns carrying a marble cupola, was but remotely 
reminiscent of the primitive Oapanna, or fire-hut, in 
which the cult had begun at Alba or Lanuvium ; or 
even of that later one on this site — whose priestesses 
Numa had charged to guard the fire and the water, and 
to hold daily prayers for the safety and welfare of the 
people : * pro omnibus efficacia vota suscipere.' During 
times of crises, or after prodigies, such as plague, earth- 
quake, they were bound to offer especial prayers, not 
merely to Yesta, but to Apollo, the healer, to JSscula- 
pius, his son, and to Diana Lucifera (light-bearer). 

The excavator, being enabled later on to explore the 
ground beneath the Church of S. Maria, soon cleared out 
several chambers found west of the Atrium Vestae, pos- 
sessing the utmost importance, as illustrating the ritual 
observances of the sisterhood. After passing between 
one or two, perhaps watching, chambers, served by 
hypocausts, we reach one having a double-furnace on 
our right. Each aperture measures 90 cms. ; both 
ovens are tied together beneath a raised floor of tegulce 
bipedcUeSf doubled, and having mortar between them. 
On the level with the crown of each oven, and dividing 
these, occurs a construction closely resembling a Tomba 
Cineraria. It is made up of three large tiles (5 
inches thick apiece), set triangle-wise. This could be 
used precisely for careful incineration. Ashes were 
inside it when opened, and in front on the floor lies a 


thick layer of the ashes deposited there by the latest of 
the Yestals (a.d. 392-394). Likewise in these chambers, 
and in that adjoining them southward, were found 
abundant remains of vases and archaic pottery, which, 
it is known, it was de rigueur for the priestesses of 
Yesta and of certain other divinities to use. 

In yet another chamber with an apsidal west wall (at 
the south-west angle) were discovered in site, embedded 
naturally in a floor of white mosaic, a dish and two 
amphorse. It stands back to back with the sacred 
Fons Jutum». It measures 11*20 m. E.-W. x 6 m. 
S. -N. ; apse, 4*50 m. Opening from this chamber 
(S.) occur three smaller one& This chapel-resembling 
room with a sanctuary, and having a bad post-Imperial 
pavement in the body of it, has been called, with 
sufficient warrant of probability, the Penus Vesta, 
namely, that most sacred store-chapel, wherein were 
kept the Palladium (or olive-wood figurine of Pallas) 
and the other sacra fcUalia^ and upon which the safety 
of Rome was held to depend — pledges of Empire.^ In 
it were uttered those prayers, regarded, we are told, by 
some people as so effectual {Precatio Vestalium) that by 
them fugitive slaves could be arrested in their flight 
(Plin., H. N., xxviiL 12, 13) ; and therein, during the 
Vestalia in June, matrons, with bared feet and hair 
loose, might come to demand the goddess's blessing for 
their households. 

Beyond this, to the left, is reached a winding stair- 
case, which was a principal conductor to the upper 
storey of the Virginea Domus in its palatial days. It 
is evident that the ritual chambers of the House are 

^ Whatever these were, and their nature is open to question, 
it is probable that they all perished excepting the Palladiam in 
the fire of Nero. 

Locua iNTiMua (Vest*) 

Tank, ok Vasca, i 

r ^ 


• • 




(perhaps all of them) at the western end, in a line 
with the Shrine itself. 

We now reach a long corridor in the important and 
beautifuUy-paven rooms opening (S.) out of it^ some even 
having remains of delicate frescoes of the first century. 
Altogether the two storeys of the House contained over 
one hundred rooms. Beside a drain of Neronian date, 
in the third room from the stairs, during one wet 
November afternoon were found 397 gold coina I 
was up in the Forum Office with Commendatore Boni, 
when the foreman of the works came in, dripping and 
breathless, to say that gold was being found. We went 
down together. Only that very morning we had re- 
marked upon the unusual scarcity of coins hitherto 
found during the excavations. Upon reaching the spot 
the man beside the drain was throwing out spadefuls 
of mud, and the fast-falling rain here and there was 
revealing the coins lying in it. Transferred to pails 
of water, the following was the result of this memor* 
able find. It is noteworthy that it took place within 
fifteen yards of the discovery of Anglo-Saxon coins 
in 1883 :— 

Bnfemia, Empress of Anthemias (very rare) 

Anthemios (467-472) . 

Libius Sevems (461-465) 

Leo I. (457-474) . 

Marcianas (460-457) 

Valentinianns III. (425-465) 

Constantius II. (337-361) . 





The date of the beautifully fresh coins of Anthemius 
(which included the greater portion of the money) 
pointed to the conclusion that they had been hidden 
by their possessor, for some cogent reason, at the moment 
when Rome was, for the third time, about to be sacked 


in that century, namely, by Ricimer, the Bon-in-law of 
Anthem ius. This event, in fact, took place on July 
11, 472. Professor Gatti thinks the money was pro- 
bably hidden by some official of the Court, who in- 
habited the former House of the Vestals; for it was 
now eighty [years since their suppression upon the 
defeat of Eugenius by Theodosius. 

Beyond this point rooms were found containing opus 
sectUe pavements of giallo and pavonazzetto marble ; 
while in the corridor itself other fragments of geome- 
trically-designed pavement, also of coloured marbles, 

In the great Cortile itself, in addition to one small 
vasca or tank at the eastern end, opened and in use 
since 1883, there have since been found two others, 
both situated west of the centre, and divided from one 
another at a distance of 1*60 m., and once lined with 
Luna marble. The largest and more ancient of these 
has a small i^irway at each end to enter it by. 
This one has been cut into and spoiled by a late 
fourth-century octagonal structure. The foundations 
of this ^dicola rest four feet below its pavement upon 
golden arenose clay. The segmentary walls were only 
35 cms. thick, and they radiated from a circular centre, 
having a diameter of 4 metres. The wall carried on 
this central circle had a thickness of 0*45, and the 
outer wall, which alone followed an octagonal design, 
showed the same measurement. It is clear, therefore, 
that the building could not have been lofty. In a seg- 
ment south of the centre is seen a curved foundation, 
proving that the j£dicola carried a small apsis, or deep 
niche, perhaps, for a statue. The real intention of 
this poor and late structure is not clear. The explora- 
tion of the longer tank, or vasca^ and the ground 


adjacent to it on the north side, besides disclosing 
important evidence of the Domus Vestse destroyed in 
the fire of Commodus (a.I). 192), and the Augustan one 
destroyed in that of Nero, pelded evidences of the 
dishes partaken by the Yestals : oysters of two kinds, 
wild-boars' teeth and bones, together with lumache, or 
snails, fish-bones of Oephalus and Lupo. Date-stones 
occurred in plenty. Among the many rich marbles of 
the Flavian reconstruction found beneath occurred 
Breccia d'Egitto^ and (perhaps for the first time within 
the City), Breccia Quintiliola in thick pieces with one 
smoothed surface. With regard to this rare Breccia 
the specimens are exceedingly rich in colours — red, 
gold, and blue, as well as black, pebbles occurring in 
them. Nevertheless, being in the main a dark marble, 
and quite unfitted for carved work, one does not find 
any known piece of it having traces of distinct mould- 
ing. For what purpose, then, could it have been used ? 
One specimen, a large one, has two cut surfaces 
at right angles, and it is three inches thick. It 
may, therefore, have formed a slab, or perhaps part of a 
table. The westernmost and smaller of these Impluvia 
corresponds with the quadrangular one at the eastern 
end of the court, opposite the large Hall, or Tablinum. 
Around the Atrium, the latest fourth-century mosaic 
pavement is of black basalt (selce iesserm). Beneath it 
lies an older one of neat ojpus gpicatum (wheatear), 
Remains also of a house of a post-Yestal period, with 
hypocaust and bathrooms, occur on the northern flank 
of the Atrium. The original colonnade had apparently 
ceased to exist, and the site became occupied by a 
brick wall, having openings or windows in it. Centre 
to centre the inter - columniations had measured 
3-70 m. 


At first it is difficult to picture this vast palace, 
once so splendid with this colonnaded peristylium, and 
dazzling with marble walls and white pavements^ and 
containing ove^ five-score rooms, furnished sumptuously 
with precious carpets, drappi, sculptures, frescoes, chests 
and chairs, and other furniture, and adorned with 
shrubs and flowers. Among six ladies, some of whom 
were usually children, how could this vast building be 
divided ? 

First of all must have lived there a large staff of 
female slaves. There were cooks, bakers, bathing- 
women {balnearit)f maids {delicatce), ornatrices, amanu- 
enses {dietarii and cubicularii\ and portresses, forming 
a perilous corps of spies. Outside the building another 
corps existed, consisting of men — Lictors, who preceded 
the Vestals whenever they went forth officiaUy ; Lecti- 
cariif who carried them in sedan-chairs. Then they 
had their Talndarii (writers), and cursores (messengers), 
Victimarii (sacrificial assistants), their fictores or potters^ 
&C. &a Thus there depended upon the establishment 
an elaborate regiment of slaves and officials, inside and 
out. The functional life of it was incessant ; for the 
fire, at least, had to be watched through the nighty 
winter and summer. The whole building had to be 
kept spotlessly clean. When^ however, we learn from 
Suetonius and Tacitus that public treaties. Imperial 
wills, and other State documents were confided to the 
keeping of the Vestals, we may grant that many rooms 
may have been needed for such archives. Duties had 
been multiplied since earlier days. 

The Vestals were dressed in the pallium and stola, 
as the statues reveal, descending to their feet, which 
were shod with the white skin of a sacrificial animal. 
Their hair was nearly hidden by a peculiar head-dress 


of folded linen in bands.^ In addition, they wore a 
white oblong veil called guffilndumf with which at the 
moment of sacrifice they covered themselves. Pro- 
bably, like the Flamenica Dialis, or priestess of Juno, 
they had attached to some part of their dress a twig 
of a lucky tree, arbor fdiXy perhaps of their lotus-tree. 

In parting cursorily with this subject let us recall 
some of their chief functions and festivities. On March 
the 1st they renewed the laurels which decorated their 
shrine, or i^des Yestse ; and the Pontif ex, as we have 
seen, rekindled the fire which he blew out in their 
presence, probably in the chapel, or Locus Intimus. 
On the 6th they offered sacrifice to Yesta, because 
Augustus had on that day become Pontifex Mazimus, 
B.C. 12. On April 15 they went in procession to visit 
the chapels of the Argei {SaceUa argeorum), twenty-four 
in number. They also attended the great sacrifice to 
Tellus, called Fordicidia, at the Capitol, when the un- 
born calves were incinerated, and the ashes, having 
meanwhile been mixed with the blood of the sacrificed 
October Horse, were brought back to the Atrium Yestse 
in sacred vessels, in order to be used for purifica- 
tory purposes at the Parilia on the 21st of the month. 
' Yesta dabit : Yestae munere purus eris.' 

They took part in the Feast of the Bona Dea on the 
pseudo-Aventine Hill on May 1,^ in the temple of 
that goddess, which Livia restored, and which Macro- 
bius calls a wort-garden, or herbarium. On May 7-15 

1 ' Inf ola, fascia in modam diadematis, a qua vittsB ab ntraqne 
parte dependent ; quae plemmque lata est'— ^BBVIUS, Ad JSn., 
10, 138. 

' This temple had been originally erected by Claudia, the 
chaste matron, who dragged the refractory barge containing 
Cybele's statue, up the Tiber, B.C. 204. 


the three elder Vestals plucked the first ears of com 
for their sacramental cake, or mola saUa, On May 15 
they accompanied the Pontifices and magistrates to 
the wooden Pons Sublicius, the most ancient bridge 
in Rome, and thence threw the Argean puppets, or 
mannikins,^ made of rushes, bound with wool, into 
the Tiber. The procession left the Forum by the Vicus 
Tuscus. All their rites had intimately to do with the 
food-supplies of the State, the welfare thereof, and with 
Purification. June 9-15 brought them the Vestalia, 
with the opening of the Penus Vests to the matrons, 
already alluded to. On August 21 the Flamen 
Quirinalis and the Vestals sacrificed to Census, a 
primitive agricultural divinity. On the 25th they 
entered the Regia, and, together with the Rex Sac- 
rorum, fulfilled certain rites in honour of Ops Consiva. 
Besides these they attended at the Regia in October, 
when the blood of the Horse was brought thither 
from the Campus Martins. In December they again 
celebrated rites of the Bona Dea, but in the Domus 
Publica, next their own house ^ under the presidency of 
the wife of the Pontifex Maximus and the Flamenica 
Dialis. They took a leading part, we may be sure, in 
the Saturnalia of January 11, while on February 15 
they celebrated the Lupercalia at the Lupercal, at the 
foot of the Palatine, in which the last of their mola 
sdUa was used up. 

At the north-east angle of the Atrium, Comm. Boni 
has laid bare very carefully an ancient altar and gutter, 
orientated with the adjacent remains of the Domus 
Pablica. This may possibly belong to the chapel in 
which the December rites of the Bona Dea were 

^ Simulacra. 

' This was celebrated pro populo. 


celebrated, and in which Clodius ^ gained so evil a noto- 
riety by undertaking the part of a spy disguised as a 
female Citharist. The altar, as may be seen, is built 
up of remains of sacrificial material mixed together, 
with bits of pottery, burnt wood, and stones. 

The remains of the Domus Publica, as previously 
hinted, were utilised for foundations by the Yestals in 
expanding their house, after Augustus (b.c. 12)^ made 
that official pontifical residence over to them. Not a 
little of its design can still be traced by threading in 
and out the broken chambers beyond the northern 
flank of the Atrium. There can, in fact, be followed 
the west front of a large palace, having had travertine 
columns and an ample gutter for the roof -drip. It pos- 
sessed mosaic-paven chambers, one of which is apsidal, 
while another, eastward (perhaps an impluvium), dis- 
plays a white mosaic, and its wall is frescoed represent- 
ing a fenced garden under a blue sky. Behind this 
runs the rear wall (east) of the house. The building 
exemplifies the primitive orientation. Other (but un- 
identified) Republican mansions having important 
dimensions have been laid bare nearer to the Arch of 
Titus. There are thus displayed for us at last the Begia, 
the Domns Pablica, and the ritual portions of the Atrium 


The exploration of the remains of the JSdes Divi 
Julii, the especial monument of the Founder of the 

^ B.a 62. It was held by night. Not even the name of the 
goddess might be pronounced. But the ladies danced and sang 
and carried dark flowers, but no myrtles, and they sacrificed 
a young black pig, seethed in milk, honey, and wine. Of, 
Juvenal, 2, 86. 

' On the death of iBmilius Lepidus. 


Empire, was in hand in November and December 1898. 
The curvilinear recess, or hemicycle, at its western or 
Forum face, was then first thoroughly excavated, and 
the base of the altar within it exposed to view. A few 
fragments of giallo antico and pavonazzetto came out of 
the debris, reminding one vividly of the column of Numi- 
dian marble long standing there, inscribed * Parenti 
Patriae.' That commemorated the spot where, on 
March 17, B.C. 44, the body of Julius, with its three- 
and-twenty wounds (having been brought from the 
Domus Publica, whither it was carried from the Curia 
of Pompey, adjoining the theatre, at the rear of S. 
Andrea della Yalle), was cremated amid the throng 
of mourning, awe-stricken citizens ; the fire being fed 
with benches snatched from the Basilica Julia. The 
temple was begun in b.c. 33, and dedicated in B.C. 29^ 
being constructed on a lofty platform similar to that 
of the neighbouring Temple of Castor, and for the 
same reason, «^. to stand above the invading waters 
of the Tiber, which gave no little trouble in those days. 
Its portico overlooked the Forum, while the body of 
the temple stood upon the little street which until then 
had marked the eastern limit of the Forum, and, as 
shown, appropriated some portion of the offices of the 
Regia beyond it. This street can now be traced, neatly 
paven with selce, with its eastern 'margo' of travertine. 
The triple Arch of Augustus (b.c. 19) standing upon 
it hides the actual width. The octagonal base within 
the hemicycle, upon which the column probably re- 
mained until the days of Theodosius, is in three tiers ^ 
of tufo concrete, bearing evidence of refacetting, and 
of a marble concrete coating. 

^ Rising sncoesslvely. Lowest, 24 cms.; middle, 44 cms.; 
upper, 28 cms. ; of, Jordan, Topog., vol. 1. 409, note. 


Augustus, although decreeing this Temple a sanc- 
tuary, and decorating it with the beaks of the vessels 
taken at Actium, seems to have flouted the special 
significance of it in the case of those implicated in the 
murder of his great-uncle, or in any degree considered 
to be their allies. The three hundred prisoners taken 
at the siege of Perusia Augusta were deliberately 
slaughtered at it in a.d. 41. Again, in a.d. 69, those 
of the suite of the Emperor Galba, who, to escape the 
vengeance of the Pretorian guard (who had overtaken 
the Emperor in his litter at Lacus Curtius, and were 
driving their swords into him), clung to these sacred 
walls, were not spared, nor was even the individual 
who temporarily reached the Mdea Yestae. Within it 
Augustus placed a masterpiece of Apelles, Venus 
Anadyomene, in record of the claim of Gsesar's 
descent from that goddess. It was also adorned 
with treasures of art which had belonged to Cleopatra 
and Ptolemy. From it Tiberius delivered his funeral 
oration over the body of Augustus, a.d. 14. The army 
of Farnese workmen in 1545 burrowed here for marbles 
but too successfully, and left this unique monument 
in the forlorn condition in which we see it. 


In line with the axis of this Temple of Julius and 
that of the Coliseum has been now laid bare in the 
central Forum the vast nucleus of the pedestal-base 
upon which stood the equestrian bronze Colossus of 
Domitian. It is made of travertine and selce concrete 
irregularly mixed, and lies exactly one metre below 
the exposed latest level of the Forum. Embedded in 
it are seen three travertine blocks for three legs of the 
horse. The fourth leg (right) was therefore uplifted. 


The Emperor looked eastward toward the Palatine 
where he was destined to be assassinated. The 
graceful Laureate of Domitian tells us precisely that 
his master's statue faced the Temple of Julius,^ was 
flanked by the basilicas of the warrior Paullus and of 
Julius, while behind it stood the Temple of Vespasian.^ 
The statue, at least of Domitian, was destroyed after 
his death and the * Memori» Damnatio ' issued by the 
Senate. The basement measures 5 m. in width x 11 
m. in length, and it blocks one of the subterranean 
galleries of C»sar. The oaken rertical beams of the 
^box-casting' of the concrete are seen still in site on 
the southern side. The twenty-seven strata of the 
Forum levels are best shown in this excavation. 

The discovery^ of a small inaugural pit, with the 
votive Pontifical vases, in situ, lying within it, where 
they must have been placed by Domitian himself 
as Pontifex Maximus at the dedicatory ceremony, 
constitutes one more evidence of the thorough method 
employed by Commendatore Boni in carrying out 
his exploration of the Forum. Had not the mediseval 
Christians taken the platform of the Temple of Castor 
to pieces, in order to repair S. Maria Antiqua, perhaps 
we should have witnessed two years back a similar dis- 
covery therein, with the vases placed in it by Tiberius 
when he and Livia rebuilt it, a.d. 7-8. The present 
pit was covered with a single slab of travertine, 
trapezoidal in form, and measuring at its four sides 
1*24 m., 1*22 m., 1*20 m., 1*19 m., the sharpest angle 
being turned to the north, as is the case with the ritual 

^ * Ab latemm passus bine Julia tecta taentnr, 

Illinc belligeri sublimiB Begia Panlli. 

Teiga pater blandoqne videt Concordia vulto.' 
> Statius, Silv. 1. ' Borne, March 11, 1904. 


pit in the Vestal Temple. In the centre, lying on its side 
(probably having been upset by invading flood-water), 
lay a beautiful spheroidal amphora of reddish clay, deco- 
rated with vertical raised ribbing around the body of it ; 
and having a broad but graceful lip. Of the other vessels, 
three are made of decorated black ware (Bticchero) and 
one of yellow clay, ornamented by four bands of pale 
red paint. These all lay at the western side of the 
shallow pit) where the Emperor must have stood at the 
ceremony, facing the East. On getting close to them I 
noticed that two of them were cups with the well- 
known perforated handles, such as have occurred at 
the Niger Lapis, Yesta, and in the Sepolcretum, or 
primitive burial-ground of the Forum — archaic ritual 
cups bearing upon them, both in shape and in a pricked- 
out star ornament and spirals, on their sides, the well- 
known character of early sacred vessels. In the large 
central vase appeared a small fragment of quartz, con- 
taining gold, weighing as heavily as a lady's wedding- 
ring, and much resembling a broken tooth that has 
been stopped. I have just had it in my hand. We 
shall probably learn from the microscope interesting 
particulars as to Pontifical offerings. But, in respect 
of this morsel of gold, Gomm. Boni suggests that, being a 
ritual offering, it probably represents giving back to the 
Earth a piece of the virtue taken from her, a gift in 
payment for the disturbance of her surface. 

At half-past eight on the morning of March 20 
(1904), the sun filled the Forum with light, while 
the wrens, smallest of birds, filled the place of the 
Emperors with song. At nine o'clock Comm. Boni, 
having arranged to lift the votive vases from the 
dedicatory pit and examine their contents, Professor 
Huelsen, the correspondent of the Times, and another, 




were invited to take part. We did not know that 
King Victor Emmanuel was to be present. With 
Royal punctuality he made his way with four 
officers of his suite to the centre of the sunny 
Forum. Assembled presently on the platform above 
and around the cavity, Comm. Boni descended by a 
ladder into one of CfiBsar's galleries, and arrived at the 
seat of action ten feet below us, two of the workmen 
awaiting him there with empty pails in which the vases 
to be lifted would soon be placed. As it was to be feared 
the vases might suffer if placed in the metal pail with- 
out intervening cloths, and the cloths having been sent 
for, the delay consequent was curtailed by the writer 
devoting his best handkerchief and dropping it down 
to the explorer as a consecrated thing. In this the 
vase came up. One by one the smaller vases followed, 
until all five were brought to the surface among the 
inquiring circle there gathered. 

A small procession, headed by the Excavator and 
the King, now walked to the little museum half-way 
up the Sacra Via, where close comparison was made 
between these ritual vases and cups, and others lately 
found in the graves of the neighbouring Sepulcretum, the 
most recent tombs in which do not date later than the 
sixth century b.c. It was a memorable moment. The 
vases and their ornaments, one after another, were 
found, side by side, to correspond almost to a stroke with 
one another. There could be no doubt that the archaic 
forms and adornments used by the contemporaries of 
Numa had been faithfully conserved by the Sacerdotal 
Colleges, and had been used by Domitian himself as 
Fontifex Maximus, in the dedication of his own eques- 
trian statue, ninety years after Christ, unless the Em- 
peror deliberately made use of ancient ones taken from 
some local tomb. 


Sieves and water having been brought, Comm. Boni 
now passed the contents of these vessels into the former 
— the King looking on highly interested. Beyond 
fragments of hard pitch, put in them to prevent per- 
colation (?) and morsels of tortoise-shell, no fresh objects 
came to light. It is probable they had once contained 
wine and milk. The rest was Tiber sediment and some 
chips of travertine. The piece of gold in the quartz^ 
mentioned already, is, therefore, the only metal object 
discovered, in company with these beautiful intact 


The Galleries under the Forum were found almost 
accidentally by the clearing of a hole met with 
during the exploration of the Rostra of OaBsar, at the 
western end of the Forum. Following this up, Gomm. 
Boni discovered the great system of longitudinal and 
transverse corridors, or galleries, buUt of ojpus incer- 
tunif measuring 2*40 m. height x 1*10 m. width. At 
the crossings (which have arches of tufo forming and 
facing quadrangular chambers) occur their quadrangular 
openings up to the Forum level. In the floors are seen 
embedded here and there large lumps of the Nero 
Yenato, or Niger Lapis, marble ; ^ and here and there 
likewise, at fitting intervals, remains of the * pegmata/ 
or lifts, such as were elaborated later in the Goliseum, 
and made of elm and pine and oak. These were 
employed for transferring theatrical properties quickly 

1 The discovery of this marble here proved somewhat startling 
to those archiBologists who laboured to prove that the Niger 
Lapis pavement was the work of Mazentios, It was brought 
probably from Gaul. It resembles fnarmor cMcum more than 
any other variety of black marble. 


on to the acenes during the public games and shows 
(especially Yenationes), so sumptuously given by Csesar 
in the Forum. Upon these are evidenced the wear 
and tear of the ropes and chains. The apparatus used 
in the Forum on festive occasions must have entirely 
transformed its appearance. There were set up grand- 
stands of wood, and galleries called after Caius Moenius 
(censor in b.c. 318), 'moeniana.' 

It is matter of common knowledge that long before 
the Coliseum was built, or its predecessor, the Amphi- 
theatre of Statilius Taurus (now beneath the Palazzo 
Gabrielli), the gladiatorial combats, and even the games 
with wild beasts, were given in the Forum, which was 
duly arranged for the occasions. Theatrical repre- 
sentations also took place there, in which *tabulata,' 
or scenery, was employed, which was managed by 
* machinatores,' or shifters, and ' pegmata,' other- 
wise, windlasses. Wooden stands, with successive 
benches, tier upon tier, with distribution of the seats 
according to social rank, were erected around the 
margin of the Forum, leaving the centre to form a 
natural arena. Plutarch, in his life of Caius Gracchus, 
describes how that levelling politician caused mechanics 
to tear down in the night the luxurious grand-boxes 
erected for the accommodation of the richer folk on 
the morrow. Awnings, moreover, were spread in order 
to protect the spectators from the sun, as Pliny says of 
Cesar's * shows* there: * Forum velis obtexit.' Evi- 
dence of all this might well be supposed to have passed 
completely away in a site which has undergone such 
violent later vicissitudes as has the Forum Romanum, 
but proof to the contrary is only the more surely wel- 
come. Discovering a soft spot in the subsoil adjoining 
the eastern front of the Rostra of CsBsar, Comm. Boni 


found himself penetrating into a dark passage leading 
him eastward. Following this lead, by the help of 
candles, he became aware of no fewer than four separate 
cross - galleries of tufo opus incertum construction, 
evidently of functional importance, the farthest of 
them running east of the Equus Domitiani. On 
closer examination was discovered in them not only 
clear evidence of the working of windlasses, but actual 
portions of their wood-work, which is recognised as 
having been made of elm — a timber much employed 
by the Romans in constructions, as well as for rods : 
* Virg8B ulmese ' (Flautus). Truly, this discovery brings 
back to us more vividly than all academic treatises 
those days in old Rome when Dionysius says that 
Ciesar suspended silken awnings over the Forum (liii. 
31); and the people, we are elsewhere told, 'cum 
extructis gradatim ligneis subselliis circumsedebant^ aut 
ex area et porticibus spectabant.' The uses of these 
galleries naturally passed away with the construction 
of the Amphitheatre of Statilius Taurus, which being 
destroyed in the fire under Nero, created the oppor- 
tunity for building the Coliseimi. 


The first identification (not discovery) of the now 
restored Flavian Rostra (as such) is due to Comm. Boni, 
who likewise attributed their northern prolongation in 
a debased style to the age of Genseric (a.d. 455), or 
after the assault of the Yandals upon the city. Rising 
from a level to which he could not ascribe a date later 
than Trajan's time, or earlier than Vespasian's, they 
could not belong to Caesar nor to any Julian emperor. 
Their historical interest is relatively slight. 




On taking away some constructions made by Pius 
YII., to the rear of these (westward), he laid bare a 
small but carefully-constructed arcade of eight arches 
made of concrete with facing of opas incertum (but 
approaching the style called * reticulatum '), and lined 
with optis dgninum (pounded pottery), presenting, more- 
over, pavements of brick cut into large tesserse, such as 
are seen in the small chambers of the Vestals nearest 
their Shrine. The upper member of the cornice is 
restored in a later style. This structure in his opinion 
formed the ' suggestus,' or long platform of Caesar's 
Rostra, upon which stood the ' subsellium,' or stand for 
the Orators and tribunes. Boni was led to that con- 
clusion in some degree by a well-known * Denarius ' of 
M. Lollius Palikanus, of the year B.C. 45, representing 
a curven edifice of five arches with rostra. The cells 
measure 1*72 x 1*70 m. vertical, divided by short piers 
of 60 cms. 

Many objections have been lodged against this 
identification. My friend. Prof. Huelsen, especially, is 
of opinion that we have here really a viaduct (loctts 
mbstrudus)^ resembling one near Salona, and which was 
intended by its probable maker, Munatius Plancus^ 
(b.g. 42) to carry the reformed Clivus Capitolinus. 
This hypothesis ^has not, however, as yet succeeded in 
seriously shaking the attribution of the Discoverer. 
If this arcade was only intended for the support of a 
road, it may be asked, why did its makers lay out a 
neat pavement, extending five metres in front of it, 
toward the Forum? Moreover, it is not determined 
whether Munatius restored, or entirely rebuilt, the 

1 * A Monatio Planco £des Satubni ' (Saeton., Aug., c. 29). 



• • 


Temple of Saturn. The level corresponds to the Forum 
of Caesar's date. 


Two of the cells of the Rostra have been cut away at 
the southern termination, in order to accommodate the 
small decorative Arch erected by Tiberius to record the 
recovery by QennaxiiciiB (a.d. 16) of the standards taken 
from Varus. It consisted of one opening only, and 
did not span a street. Nothing remains of it but the 
foundation^ thirty feet long by twenty wide, made of 
selce concrete. 

Adjoining this (northward) a marble pavement ex- 
poses clear evidences of some structure which had con- 
tained tables or statues upon pedestals. Prof. Huelsen 
thinks this may well have been the Schola Xanthi, the 
office of the Gurule i^diles, the dedicatory inscription 
of which was found in the sixteenth century. 

In the street flanking the Basilica Julia (N.) have 

been uncovered the augural pits made by Caesar while 

constructing his Law-Courts and Haussmannizing the 

Forum. Also at the north-west comer, remains of 

the original Augustan Basilica were recognised. In a 

modem drain (1856) along the flank was found a 

valuable fragment of the Capitoline map of Rome, 

representing the baths of Agrippa, and belonging to 

Vespasian's edition of that plan. Immediately north of 

the Temple of Saturn was disclosed a great early cloaca 

of Tufo, having a shelf following along its north side, 

within it. Near this is exposed the fine selce pavement 

(previously found) of the ancient Clivus Capitolinus, 

which here turned round to the west of the Temple 

of Saturn and ascended the hill to the Temple of 





In front of the Hereon Bomuli, or circular Church of 
SS. Cosma and Damiano ^ rises a little eighth-century 
oratory, once attached to an Excubitorium of the Yigiles 
or night-watchmen. This has been converted into an 
official Musenin for the well-sifted objects recovered from 
the various excavations. It includes those found under 
the Niger Lapis, those in the Regia, the Domitian 
monument^ and those in the Vestal region, and from 
the numerous different wells. At the same time the 
Heroon itself has been likewise appropriated for housing 
the casts of inscriptions, brick-stamps, and pottery from 
the Basilica uSmilia and Sacra Via^; both of which 
were now explored without rest, until in the latter case 
the whole Clivus was laid bare up to the Church of St. 
Francesca and the Arch of Titus. 


In the former, however, work had perforce to cease 
at a point when danger became threatened to the houses 
standing behind those of Michele and Antonio Fiore, 
which had been purchased by Mr. Lionel Phillips. That 
is to say, the development of the excavation through 

1 The first church made in the Foram, A.D. 526. 

' After living for months together in the Forum one came to 
know numbers of the cats that resort there for love and war ; 
and it is perhaps not beneath notice here that they seemed 
deliberately to make use for hiding purposes of the materials 
scattered about most favourable to their own colouring. Hence 
we used to amuse the workmen by christening one * Gipollina/ 
another ^Africana,' and a third 'Gialla Brecciata.' As, how- 
ever, on two occasions I noticed piebald and tortoise-shell 
rats here, it would seem that they also were not a little helped 
by assimilation to their surroundings. 






> » ♦ # 

* • ■• 


-> -I > J J ■> 


a twenty-foot bank of debris soon revealed that we had 
to deal with a Basilica i^milia of far grander propor- 
tions than any archseologist had hitherto figured to lie 
concealed in that site. This applies both to the length 
and depth of the edifice. So that as the soil was re- 
moved down to imperial levels the length of the outer 
portico became discovered (it is true in a ruined 
condition) extending for over three hundred feet 
(English), west to east ; while advancing into the 
central nave, we perceived that, without acquiring and 
demolishing the better and larger houses behind again, 
it would be impossible to disclose and examine the 
northern half of the Basilica. Since then, in 1903, Mr. 
Phillips has once more favoured the writer's hopeful 
design to gain the Forum of Nerva (Transitorium), and 
there is reason to believe that the houses will soon 
be in the hands of the workmen. This accomplished, 
there will be no difficulty in the way of exploring the 
unbuilt-upon lower portion of the Via Oavour, which 
should bring us fully into the Imperial Fora, and 
perhaps some unforeseen and surprising results. 

In the middle of July, 1899, 1 left Rome for change 
of air. I had no sooner left than Oomm. Boni wrote 
me, " I have just found the beginning of a magnificent 
inscription in Augustan lettering which refers to Lucius, 
one of the two grandsons of Augustus, by Julia and 
Vipsanius Agrippa." This relates, of course, to the 
marble dedicatory inscription afterwards competely laid 
bare at the south-east angle of the Basilica, and still 
lying there. The splendid angle-base of the eastern end 
of the Basilica with fiuted pilasters and engaged column 
had already appeared, together with several of the 
little granite columns and late pedestals (from which 
they had fallen), belonging (as we now are aware) 



to an attempted restoration of the wrecked building, 
probably in the sixth century — in any case, after the 
earthquake of a.d. 512. * The angle-base is in itself a 
puzzling architectural problem. I hope to be able to 
decipher it in a few days. The granite columns do 
not belong to the same building. They look almost 
mediaeval. The inscription lies in fragments, all em- 
bedded in a thick layer of charcoal. These are heaped 
together among moulded blocks of cornices and bases 
80 as to form a positively terrible sight.' 

Thus commenced the excavation of the monumental 
Exchange of Republican and Imperial Rome, informing 
us at once that some hitherto unknown catastrophe had 
befallen it, perhaps after the Empire itself had suc- 
cumbed. The inscription reads : 


GUM ESSEX . ann(os) . nat(us) . XIIII . AnG(nBl) 


It measures, put together, 4*74 m. in length and 
0*596 m. in breadth : the inscription itself being framed. 
Professor Dante Vaglieri at the time recalled what 
already had occurred to myself, the passage in the 
Ancyranum in which Augustus says, " The people of 
Rome in honour of me designated my two grandsons, 
Gains and Lucius, Consuls in their fifteenth year, of 
whom, still youthful. Fortune robbed me. . . . The 
Knights called them the Princes of the Youth, giving 
them spears and shields of silver." The inscription 
records the fact also that Lucius Csdsar was a member 
of the Augural College. 

But there is reason to believe that the inscription 
does not belong to the monument beside which it was 

SOUTH-EAST Corner Stone op Basilica 2Emil 


0* > J ^ 

% ^ o * -^ 


found. Although we know that Augustus and his 
relatives of the ^milian Gens contributed to the 
restoration of the Basilica after a fire in b.c. 14, it 
does not seem likely that this Dedicatory can pertain 
to that occurrence. It with more probability may 
have adorned the Basilica Julia on the opposite side of 
the Forum, though it may eventually prove to belong 
to a Portions Lucii. In that case, one must regard it 
as having been dragged across the Forum for one or 
other of two purposes : the first, to use it as a decora- 
tion, or merely as architectonic material for some other 
building ; or the second, to turn it into lime. In the 
latter case it is difficult to perceive why the owner or 
purchaser of it should not have burned it down on the 
spot where he found it ; or, when it broke up, why he 
should not have taken the fragments away whither he 
would, easily and piecemeal. In the former, one can 
understand that somehow it became wrecked, and no 
longer could serve the purpose for which the owner 
had intended it; so he abandoned it. But the mystery 
must at present remain unsolved. 

The long southern porticus of this vast building was 
of the Doric order and of pentelic marble. It was 
carried on a line of fifteen pilasters, with half-columns 
springing from a commanding platform, the steps to 
which rose immediately from the Sacra Via. This 
formed, therefore, an open ambulatory, sheltering its 
users from sun and rain, while overlooking (S.) the 
entire area of the Forum and across to its rival, the 
Law Court of the Centum Viri, or Basilica Julia. 
Opening along the entire length of this Portions (N.) 
extends the Imperial edition of the TabernsB Argentarise, 
built of opm guadratum once faced with marble, other- 
wise the offices and vaulted strong-rooms of the 



merchants and brokers. These corresponded to the 
inter-columniations of the Porticoes, and did not open 
from one into another. Behind them extended a tufo 
wall without openings, dividing them from the central 
body (nave and aisles) of the Basilica. A long portion 
of brick-wall with dado marble mouldings still standing, 
and a vertical crack in it (as if from earthquake), 
belongs to a third-century restoration. Behind this, 
the excavation has so far laid open the nave (12 m.), and 
north and south aisles, each measuring 5 m. These 
were divided by magnificent columns of 'africano,' 
carrying Corinthian Capitals of white marble. On a 
portion of the ruined architrave, belonging to them 
but almost obliterated by the action of fire, occur the 
interesting letters | favl | | besti | ^ 

The africano columns, of which abundant and tragical 
remains are to be seen, measure in diameter 0*85 m. 
The whole area preserves its mixed pavement of 
portasanta, africano, and other marbles, upon which 
were found several oxidised heaps of bronze coins, 
seeming to show that the building was abandoned by 
the dealers in haste. The smaller columns of the 
same superb material belonged to the upper storey. 
Crossing beneath the Basilica, transversely from east 
to west, descending, that is to say, from the Suburra 
(Via Cavour), was laid open a Republican 


finer than any yet found. The tufo blocks in it are 
worked with the axe instead of the chisel. It may be 
of the time of Cato. Below it was reached another still 

^ *Paallas restituit.' It would be diflEicalt to convey the 
feelings experienced when on washing the fragments we first 
saw these significant letters. 


earlier drain. The rebuilding of the Basilica on a 
far larger scale by Lucius uSmilius Paulus in B.C. 54 
probably caused this portion of the cloaca to be dis- 
used — the Argiletum, or street, descending from the 
Suburra being pushed westward, and being given a 
large drain at a higher level. 

In some of the Tabernse ^ at the eastern end of the 
southern Portico of the Basilica appear geometrical 
mosaic pavements of the sixth centiiry. In these are 
now collected numbers of beautiful fragments of 
statues, male and female, and particularly some 
graceful reliefs on rectangular pilasters belonging to 
a double door — all bearing witness to the appalling 
ruin to which the i^milia and its art treasures became 
a prey. But one is tempted to ask, How is it that 
the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina of a.d. 141 
stands relatively well preserved, while the finely-built 
Basilica u^milia has been shattered to fragments ? If 
an earthquake shook down the one, it must certainly 
have contained some structural defect which failed to 
resist when the trial came. The roof being of wood, 
perhaps of pine or cypress, fell in and burned, as was the 
case at S. Paulo fuori le Mura in 1823, reducing the 
marbles to lime and fragments. The western facade to 
the Argiletum and the entire western half of the 
remains has suffered extremely since those days from 
medisBval and Renaissance plunderers and marble- 
burnera The remains recovered at the opposite or 
eastern end and the bank overhanging give promise 
of better preservation in the portions next to be 

1 The Tabernee measnre 5*40 m x 4*00 m. Their walls are thick, 
90 cms., bailt of blocks of tnfo, measoring 90-98 cms. in length 
by 60-60 cms. in depth. 



The two richly-sculptured ' riquadri ' ^ affixed to the 
medueval walls of tufo here, were recovered from the 
roof of the drain of the Sacra Via in front, which had 
been repaired with them. They exemplify work oi 
the time of Tiberius, but probably belong to quite 
another building. The great Doric fragments of frieze 
and epistyle figured in Labacco, Peruzzi, San Gallo, 
and other sixteenth-century masters, and since baptized 
and written of as belonging to a large Temple of Janu£ 
Quadrifrons, belonged, as Jordan rightly suspected, tc 
the western angle of the JSmilian Basilica. 

In the year b.c. 179, in the censorship of Marcu£ 
^milius Lepidus and Marcus Fulvius Nobilior^ the 
erection of a new Basilica was decreed 'behind the 
Tabemea Novsb.' This building became called both 
Fulvia and iEmilia, and was so named when in b.c. 159 
P. Oornelius Scipio Nasica erected a water-clock in it 
In B.O. 79, its centenary, the Consul Marcus iSmiliug 
Lepidus adorned the Basilica with shields. 

Some of the inscriptions^ found among the ruins 
recall the celebrated triumph of i^milius Paullus Mace^ 
donicus over King Perseus, e.g. 167. 

In B.O. 54, the brother of the Triumvir, Lepidus, as 
Curule iSdile, reconstructed it on a magnificent scale, and 
exhibited in it a portrait of the Conqueror of Macedon. 
Hence it became called the House of the Warrioi 
Paullus. His descendants restored it after a fire, ir 
B.C. 33, and again in B.C. 12. Tiberius in a.d. 34 had 

1 6 ft. X 3 ft. reliefs with scrolls of acanthns, from which issue 
rampant lions, maned and maneless. 

> One fragment of Consular Fasti, stolen from the Regia, wai 
foand here used as a door-silL On it among illastrious names 
was that of Q. Cincinnatns and that of a * Dictator clan figendi 



^Clitus Sacba Via 
(During Excavation, 1900) 

Clivus Sacba Via 





CUKVBN Ghtablatubb of Tbmplb op Bacchus 


occasion to repair damages it had sustained, and to 
these last restorations are due the beautiful sculptures 
and reliefs found there. The position and survival of 
the building are assured up to the fifth century by 
its mention in the 'Notitia' and *Ouriosum* or Im- 
perial catalogues. Gamucci, Lucio Fauno, and Mar- 
liani, all attest the plundering of the site in their days 
(sixteenth century). Pomegranate trees, or Malum 
pundcum, have been planted here in remembrance of 
Scipio Africanus and others of the ^Emilian House. 

In front of the Basilica was discovered the marble 
base of a circular ^Edicola, in diameter 2 m., with a 
rectangular door-sill much worn down on the western 
side. Situated at the junction of the great cloacae it 
seems likely that we may recognise in it the Sacellum 
of Venus Cloacina. 

On the Cliviui Sacra Via the early imperial road, 
magnificently paven with polygonal selce, was found at 
a depth of seven feet below the mediaeval (fifteenth- 
century) pavement. Upon it were found lying two 
fragments of a curvilinear cornice and frieze in one, 
bearing the bed of lost bronze letters, " (an)toninus 
. . . IMP. 11. . . . (R)BSTrn7rr." 

Professor Huelsen^ attributes this with much pro> 
bability to a temple of Bacchus which stood near the 
Sacra Via (Martial, ix. 2), a little above where these 
were found. On the opposite (N.) side of the Sacra 
Yia was discovered another ancient Tholus, resembling 
that in the Begia, and several wells, ancient and 
mediaeval. In one of the former was found a flute, in 
another a column of marble and a torso of Eroa This 
beautiful, I may say, grand, portion of the Olivus forms 
one of the most notable of the many discoveries of 

^ Aa8graben,^96 ; C. Haelsen. 


Commendatore Boni, who, however, did not achieve his 
determination without open and spiteful opposition 
from those who held the opinion that the Sacra Via, so 
long exposed there, had been already thorougly exca- 
vated and belonged to Imperial times. One of these, for 
example, wrote to the English papers deploring the work. 
" The process of suppressing one archsBological stratum 
for the sake of another is rather dangerous." '' To 
this (Clivus of Maxentius (?)) ought to be given the title 
of puleherrima inter Romanas plateas, ... It was a 
noble street indeed, running in a perfectly straight line 
for the distance of 181 metres as far as the Temple of 
Venus and Roma." ** This most beautiful specimen of 
the architectural and engineering skill of the third century 
is no more ... it has been obliterated to lay bare the 
Sacred Way and its surroundings of a later {sic) date." ^ 
The newly-exposed Clivus (6 m. wide), with its flat- 
chiselled lava-blocks (selce), may date from the days of 
Caligula. It certainly served as a closed-in street 
for centuries, perhaps until Maxentius erected his 
Basilica, and possibly until the building across it 
of the Horreum (?) by a subsequent emperor. This 
enormous edifice parallel with the Basilica, which 
was built a little after it, entirely closed up the 
* Summa ' ^ or head of the ancient road of the Triumphs, 

1 The TUiiet, February 1900. 

3 I do not believe this Horreum to be the work of Maxentius, 
and therefore I do not think he made a piazza here at all. 
Difficulty has been created by supposing the Basilica and the 
Horrea to be the work of one man and one moment, because of 
their late date and similar proportions and lines. The concrete 
on the Horrea walls is very inferior to that used by Maxentius, 
although perhaps imitating it («/. that of the Carceres). Had it 
been as hard, the building would not thus have perished so far 
as it has done. Possibly, too, it was never completed. 


Wells beside Clivus Sacba Via 

? Venus Cloacina 


• • 

• .» J J 

*■»■> J. 


so that traffic could no longer pass out of the Forum, nor 
could Triumphs enter it as of yore. It is probable that 
long before his day these may have taken their route 
by the more magnificent and convenient Forum of 
Peace. For the Platform of the Portions surrounding 
the Temples of Yenus and Roma had invaded and 
entirely cut off the old track at the Yelia, and so 
desirably separated the Forum of old from free access 
to the Coliseum and its noisy evil neighbourhood. Had 
this not been so, Maxentius might have made his 
Basilica to be entered from the Olivus instead of 
placing its portico to face the Coliseum. To the 
eye, before the excavation, there could be found only 
three per cent, of the paving-stones which had mani- 
festly belonged to Imperial highways. The other 
ninety-seven per cent, are clumsily hammered mediseval 
ones, with rounded surfaces, beneath which, at some 
five feet down, we came upon remains belonging to a 
ninth-century church, and quantities of mediseval debris, 
and two coins of Sixtus lY. 

Nevertheless, although we did not recognise the evi- 
dences of a noble avenue,^ the ' Sacred Way ' of the late 
empire (which can scarcely be said to have had one), 
there can be no doubt that the successors of Carinus 
(a.d. 282) did carry out some new piano regolatore over 
the ancient Clivus^ though even this did not attain, I 
think, the elevation imagined by Professor Lanciani ; 
nor was anything encountered during the digging which^ 
could give a moment's regret that it was removed in 
favour of the superb and well-worn track made during 
the first century of the Empire. The fact was obvious 
that the medisevals of the eighth century had ruined 

^ Instead of ' a tortaous narrow lane ' (Lanciani) was found a 
truly magnificent road of the early first century. 



and covered with debris any especial pavement the 
fourth century may have had, and had formed a patch- 
work of their own. Moreover, their predecessors had 
ab'eady violently pierced the successive longitudinal 
walls of the Horrea flanking its south side, in order 
to carry off, up to the exit (namely, to the Arch of 
Titus), the materials plundered from the monuments 
of the Forum; and these piercings at two points, 
carried down to the first-century level of the Clivus, 
and made in order to effect a short cut to the exit, 
told, and still tell, their own peculiar story of early 
post-imperial levels and plunderings. 

Nothing, however, proved more impressive in this 
respect with regard to the chronic plundering from the 
Fomm than the exposed foundation, stylobate, and pier- 
footing of the 


Upon the northern pier, on its inner side, can now be 
traced the wheel-marks and axle-tree grindings, con- 
tinued perhaps for over a thousand years, gradually 
scoring it higher and higher as the rubbish increased 
in depth, until they cut into the relief -decorations of 
the interior of the Arch. Thus these scorings form an 
eloquent chronicle of spoliation, as tragic almost as the 
Arch itself. On the eastern face of the monument 
(which has itself been moved probably twice since its 
original erection) are evidences of it having once owned 
a portcullis, probably in the days of the twelfth century 
Frangipani, who held the Forum and Palatine as their 
fortress. The Arch has been re-erected, perhaps by Max- 
entius, on a concrete base laid upon the selce of the older 
meeting streets ; but it lacks notably a proper socle. 

Immediately beyond the Arch (S.-E.), where the 


. - 


■» > U «t « ^ 


Under Arch of Titus 
(Showing wear and tear of waggon-wheels during 1200 years) 



Sacra Via had originally reached its summit, are seen 
the scanty remains of the Temple of 


composed of hlocks of Tufo peperino in good Opvs quad- 
raium,^ restored by Augustus and the Flavians, and 
commemorating the vow of Romulus to Jove, the Stayer, 
at the time of the revenge taken by the Sabines, when 
they drove the Romans back to the Palatine, when the 
Sabine wives threw themselves between their husbands 
and their pursuing kinsfolk, and peace was re-estab- 
lished. The offending Romans were driven back, Livy 
says, to the ancient Gate of the Palatine, * ad veterem 
Portam Palatii.' We are told likewise that Tarquinius 
Priscus lived near this temple, and that when dead, his 
queen, Tanaquil, addressed the people from a window 
of the palace overlooking the Nova Via. Here Ovid 
makes his Tristia enter the Palatine^ 

* Inde petens deztram, Porta est, ait, ista Falati ; 
Hie Stator ; hoc primnm condita Roma loco eat.' 

(Lib. ill. 31.) 

Nor must we forget that Cicero's first Catiline oration 
was delivered here. Upon the platform rise the re- 
mains of the medisBval Tnrris Oartuloria, faced with 
marble chips. 

The first most important result of topographical ex- 
ploration in this region is the proof given by a great 
cloaca that Hadrian, in addition to removing the 
O0I0BBII8 of the Sun in order to lay out the Porticus 
with hifl twin temples of Venus and Roma, actually 
turned aside, for the same purpose, the Sacra Via, which 
previously had proceeded direct eastward. Diocletian 

1 Some of these blocks measure 2*30 m. in length. It was 
rebuilt by Vespasian after the fire of Nero. 


and Maxentius, restoring these temples, subsequently 
built across that in order to extend the Porticus. 

The next operation was the opening up of the Glivns 
Palatinns from its juncture with the Sacra Yia, from 
which it ascends directly south-west toward the origin- 
ally hollow cleft of the Palatine. It is neatly paven 
and has its travertine margin. The earlier edition 
of this Clivus does not correspond with the later one. 
The earlier one naturally led directly to the Porta 
Mugonia of the Palatine.^ That gate, which survived 
in the days of Augustus, probably vanished in those 
of Nero. The remains of buildings of several periods 
are seen in confusing juxtaposition on the right here, 
including those of a large Republican mansion of as 
yet unidentified import. 


The Past, certainly, is rendering up many long- 
hidden secrets in the Forum, and the Curiosum, the 
Notitia, and other late Imperial catalogues of the 
city districts, or Eegiones, prove more than ever 
valuable to us. But necessarily their value is limited 
by the fact that they only record the buildings con- 
temporary with their writers. Often and often have 
we wished to know what buildings occupied the site, 
for instance, of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, 
which naturally dates within the second quarter of the 
second century, and of that immediately eastward of it^ 
but until now we have obtained no sort of information. 
A little further along the Clivus Sacra Via stands the 
Hereon Romuli (once part of the Church of SS. Cosma 
and Damiano), dating, as is well known, from the early 
years of the fourth century, when Maxentius raised it 
to commemorate his son by Magna XJrbica, whom he 

^ Porta veins Palatii. 


* " t. 


had named Romulus and designated Osesar, although a 
mere child. It stands in front (S.) of Vespasian's famous 
Templom Sacrss Urbis ; but no literature has revealed 
to us why it was given that important site, nor to what 
edifice it succeeded. This has been left for the spade 
of to-day to do. The lowest floor, of what is held by 
its discoverer to be an important prison^ has gradually, 
cell by cell, been explored and cleaned out. The small 
vaulted cells open from a central corridor passage, 
running east and west^ having floors of opus spiccUumf 
or, as Italians say, alia Spina, a more graceful descrip- 
tion than our * herring-bone ' ; and walls of Tufo lionafo 
thickly covered with inUmaco, or stucco. The jambs 
and sills of the doors are of travertine. Each cell has 
a narrow shelf-seat. At present, eight of these are 
excavated, but the ground shows clearly that they 
travel with their central passage beneath .the portico 
of the Hereon Romuli, and finish opposite the entrance 
of that edifice. Therefore, some five more cells each 
side of the passage may be reached. The concrete 
which has been poured in to fill them up (by Maxen- 
tius presumably) is so hard that a single cell took 
ten days to dear. 

Not only, therefore, was an important edifice 
destroyed by Maxentius when he built his Hereon 
(or was it destroyed by the all-devouring fire of A.D. 
282?), but the excavation proves that two distinct 
editions of the same building occupied the site pre- 
viously ; and the earliest of these had a fioor of traver- 
tine, and was probably in use until the year 192. 

We then (if we admit the attribution) are aware of 
the fact that besides the Career Tullianum, or so-called 
Mamertine prison, the Forum possessed yet another ; 
but whether this was appropriated for debtors or for 
special criminals cannot be determined. On the stucco 


of one cell occur some vague letters, but^ so free are 
the walls from graffiti^ that one must conclude that the 
cells were too dark for prisoners to see anything, except 
by torchlight^ or that at the period of their destruction 
they had been recently restored, or, more probably, that 
they were lined, like the Piombi at Venice, with wood, 
and so were not reached by the hands of those con- 
fined in them. But for himself, the writer is unable 
to accept the attribution of the building to a prison. 
The position it occupied immediately in front of Ves- 
pasian's grand Templum Sacrse Urbis, and on the edge 
of the most busy portion of the Sacra Via at its junction 
with the Forum, seems scarcely so much suggestive of 
a prison as of a safe-repository, especially convenient 
for the bankers and jewellers of the Sacra Via. But 
this is not the place for expatiating. Professor Huelsen, 
I believe, is disposed to fully share this view of the 
matter. Whatever was the nature of the building, 
Maxentius decided that it need no longer continue 
there, and appropriated the site as described. 

Opposite this site occur Republican houses (once 
with shops), lining the Sacra Via, built of Thi/o giaMoy 
each with its well (antedating most of the aque- 
ducts therefore), and observing an orientation related 
to that of the Domus Publica and Regia. Both sides 
of the Clivus seem to have been originally possessed by 
these shops. 


On the Palatine Hill, in memory of the founder of 
Rome and of the migration thither of the Colony from 
Alba Longa (Castel Gandolfo), a hut thatched with 
reeds was kept in constant repair even down to late 
Imperial days, and called Gasa Romuli. Vitruvius 
mentions certain venerable sanctuaries on the Capito- 

• *• 

• • 

• •• 

Hut Uns (the Door behoved) 


line, which were likewise maintained in their primitive 
features. It is not surprising that these early ances- 
tors of the Romans, these Prisci Latini, should have 
desired to rest after death in urns made of clay, as like 
in form as could be made to the dwellings they had 
inhabited when living. Many of these hut-urns have 
been found since 1817 in a necropolis outside Castel 
Gandolfo on the Alban Hill, and at Grottaferrata, lying 
beneath the last deposits of stones and ashes ejected by 
that moimtain. They consist of diminutive circular 
black huts, having removable clay doors, with peaked 
roof, sometimes suggesting by depressed lines the 
stipida texti. Some of them have also a triangular 
hole by which to let out the smoke. 

While a portion of the Sacra Via was being repaved 
at a certain point between the Begia and the eastern 
angle of the Portico of the Temple of Faustina and 
Antoninus, the workmen came upon an early tomb, 
which proved to be the first of the kind found in the 
Forum. It consisted of a doliutn or great jar covered 
with a slab of tufo, which contained an olla^ within 
which was a quantity of early pottery and an urn 
(ttigurium) in the form of a rude hut, having two 
handles and a cover. This dolium containing the olla, 
rested in site at 4 m. below the level of the Sacra Via 
of the second century a.d. It was cracked, though 
not broken or meddled with. Inside it were found 
incinerated bones and mud. In these were deposited 
votive offerings to the manes of the departed, pulse- 
scales of a fish, and ribs of a lamb. Two small black 
vases, nine inches high, with projecting vertical and 
horizontal rough ribs, were found with it, and some 
small cups, having the perforated, ear-like handles made 
familiar to students of archaeology by the collections 
derived from the Terramaricoli, in the province of 


Emilia. As the concrete foundations for the great 
temple descend beside it (N.), it is manifest that the 
makers thereof must have cut sheer down through the 
Sepulcretum, and become acquainted with an early 
chapter in ancestral story which may have surprised 
some of them. No record of their find has reached us. 
On the southern side of it passes, at only a few yards' 
distance, the main drain of the Sacra Via. 

The occurrence on the line of the far later Sacra Via of 
a burial-ground, in which evidences as to the funerary 
customs of the primitive dwellers upon the surrounding 
hills, the food, the ornaments and weapons, should come 
to light, is a fact of supreme interest and archaeological 
importance. The original ancestral path must have 
conducted to the Sepulcretum. Commendatore Boni 
was the least surprised by it. In 1900, soon after the 
opening up of the Clivus Sacra Via, he mentioned to me 
that the Prisci Latini would soon discover themselves ; 
and he hoped also to find the tombs of the Vestals. The 
latter burial-site remains for the present undiscovered. 

Since the opening up of the Sepolcretum, the develop- 
ment of the excavation has yielded more than twenty 
tombs. These divide into four periods. Of them the 
earliest contain pottery made of the local clay (argilla), 
and resemble in all respects those of the Esquiline 
cemetery found in 1874. Their date may be as early 
as B.C. 1000, and no hut-urns occur. The next in order 
of time are also cremation-burials. There the hut-urns 
appear enclosed in a large oUa, surrounded with ciotole 
(cups) and other votive offerings. The pottery is 
blackened by contact with flame and smoke, and is full 
of crystalline fragments. 

The third variety, also cremation, is an improved 
edition of the last, or tomhe a pozzo. The black pottery 
presents a finer varnish, and is turned on a potter's 


wheel. Moreover, it is of purified clay, having no 
crystals left in it. This has been baked in an oven. 

The fourth contains the latest interment, strictly 
resembling that found at Gabii in 1887, which is to be 
seen in the Papa Giulio Museum. It consists of non- 
cremation burial in the lower section of a tree-trunk. 
This has been split into two portions by means of wedges, 
and picked clear of pith with a hatchet In this the body 
has been laid with its ornaments and funeral offerings 
— pottery, fish, and meal (polenta), fibulae, bracelets. 
The whole was laid horizontally, like a modern grave, 
and was provided for by cutting into the earlier pit- 
graves. The date of the latest may be as recent as the 
early fifth century B.C. Most notable is it that, even 
in the earliest of all these tombs, Greek influence is 
evidenced by the finding of proto-Corinthian pottery. 

Of special interest, further, has been the finding of 
the remains of a suckling colt, deliberately disposed, with 
the head occupying the centre of the circle of its bones. 
This discovery immediately recalled the October Horse 
sacrifice of the Campus Martins, and the separation of 
its head and tail from the body, and their being carried 
to the Regia for ritual purposes, closely connected (as 
mentioned before) with the prosperity of the crops of 
father Mars. The head was, in fact, decked with 
cakes. It was this horse-veneration, doubtless, which 
contributed to render the horse-taming sons of Leda so 
attractive to the religious Romans of the early Republic, 
and caused the erection of the earliest Temple of Oastor. 
At any rate, the horse may be said to have formed the 
chief ritual link between the early Mars of the Corn- 
fields of the Campus, whose sacrarium was in the Begia, 
and the later Mars, essentially the war-god, spear- 
thrower and horse-lover. The blood of the sacrificial 
horse, taken from a victorious chariot in the Campus 


MartiuSy was used yearly as a charm — attradio similium 
— or sympathetic magic, to evoke from the sacred fields a 
flourishing crop. The contest for the possession of the 
head of the slain chariot-horse between the Sacravienses, 
or folk of the Sacra Via, or those of the Suburra, or 
Suburrenses, may be referred to the rivalry between two 
powerful and kindred races of inhabitants occupying 
these hills, both of whom interred their dead in the 
Sepolcretum now disclosed. 

BA8ILI0A OF MAXENTIUS (a.d. 306-312) 

The spade has at length rediscovered the rich marble 
pavement of this grandest and latest Imperial master- 
piece, which occupies the entire area between the 
Templum Sacrse XJrbis and that of Yenus (S. Francesca 
Romana), and opened toward the Coliseum. Upon it 
have fallen colossal fragments of the vault and second 
storey, crushing it into powder here and there, and 
deeply indenting the foundations. Among these lie 
also fragments of the coarsely - worked cornice and 
frieze of Luna marble. The bases of the eight great 
columns which once decorated and spaced out the nave 
have been cleared. One of these columns, it will be 
recollected, now stands in front of S. Maria Maggiore. 

At the western end, the brick turret with a spiral 
stair (newel), 76 cms. in breadth, has been explored, 
and, being proved dangerous, was strengthened and 
then closed up. Comm. Boni identified the huge fallen 
fragment lying in the Forum Pacis (Forum of Peace) 
behind it as having belonged to it The latter had 
been isolated by him in July 1899. The fall of much 
of this edifice may have been due to the earthquake of 
1349, which ruined the neighbouring Tor dei Conti, 
but fire^ as usual, has also done its work of disaster. 

Basilica VlAxEnriAni {fruu East] 


The apsidal crypt now excavated, with its square piers, 
measures S.-N. 1508 m. and B.-W. 12-30 m. Although 
the stucco decorations show no trace of gilding or 
polychromatic adornment, there is in their modelling 
a vigour and effect which preserves an entirely classical 

The northern apsis of this building was perhaps made 
by some later emperor who constructed the vast Horreum 
(so-called) opposite. It should date from dr. a.d. 325- 
350, seeing that it is not the work of Mazentius, and is 
too good for Gratian. Here the Lacunaria (coffers) are 
recessed fourfold, while in the original apse-vaulting they 
were recessed but threefold. The whole of this later 
apse may have been filled with statues of Oonstantine's 
family, having a colossal statue of himself in the centre. 


On entering the Forum and approaching the huge brick 
shell of the Temple of Augustus from the Yicus Tuscus, 
nowadays all is so green, and clean, and comfortable, 
the visitor would hardly believe a description, were it 
written, of the previous condition up till 1900. That, 
however, is not necessary. Old pictures and photo- 
graphs will satisfy curiosity sufficiently. Enough that 
the Temple itself, and that of Oastor, have been com- 
pletely excavated and isolated, and made more intel- 
ligible than before. 

The cleaning up of the ground between the Temple 
of Oastor and the Augtutenm, as rebuilt by Hadrian 
(in fact, the start of the Nova Via), has brought to light 
a brick portions and several more important architec- 
tonic fragments of the first-named shrine, which was 
here entered by a lofty flight of steps. These include 
two bases of columns, as well as a capital, and part of 
a fluted column (all belonging to the work of Tiberius). 



A more important fragment than even these was found 
over a drain hard by them. There is eight feet in 
length of it, forming the south-eastern angle of the 
pediment, including the inclined, as well as the 
horizontal cornice, with the deeply under-cut Augustan 
mouldings thereto belonging. This piece determines 
the dimensions, and gives us a precise picture of the 
pediment of this Octostyle peripteral temple, as rebuilt, 
A.D. 6, by Tiberius and Drusus, from the spoils taken 
from the Teutons. The torn foundations of the monu- 
ment, at its south-west angle, to the Yicus Tuscus, 
have been completely explored, exposing the interesting 
systematic use of wooden dowels for tying together the 
stone blocks. 

In looking at these fragments, thus fallen from their 
lofty position into the condition of stopping a drain, one 
could not help recalling a humble story relating to this 
Temple in days of its pristine beauty. Pliny tells it, to 
the effect that a jackdaw, whose parents had a nest in 
the Temple, came into the possession of a cobbler whose 
shop was in the neighbouring street. He seems to 
have educated the bird effectually; for it not only 
learned a little rhetoric, but it used to fly of a morning 
across to the rostra, and thence it would chatter away 
to the passers-by in the Forum. One can imagine how 
people regarded the knowing bird. It speedily became 
a favourite, and, what is more, brought custom to its 
owner. But after performing in this manner for a 
considerable time, a rival shopkeeper, declaring that 
the bird had soiled some of his wares, killed it ; either, 
says Pliny, ^in a sudden fit of anger, or from sheer 
envy.* The slayer seems to have been driven out with 
violence by an exasperated mob, and we may believe he 
did not escape with his life. The dead bird, however, 
was actually honoured by a public funeral. Laid out on 




» we* 

• • ». t. b 

c " • w c 

* •- »• • • 

>. •■ 

'■' t ^ 




a bier, it was carried by two Ethiopians (I suppose as 
being a black bird, and thus related to the gods below, 
whose victims were black) as far as the second mile- 
stone on the Via Appia ' in campo Bediculi appellato,' 
and there buried. 

Rome abounds with these birds, and it is not unin- 
teresting to observe their habits from a city roof at 
sundown. They are seen returning every evening from 
their feeding-grounds on the Campagna, and they settle 
on the gilded crosses and bell-towers of the city until 
'Ave Maria' sounds — sometimes literally blackening 
them. The moment the bells cease clanging, the birds 
drop into their cosy crevices for the night. One never 
counts a flight, however numerous, composed of un- 
even numbers. The Church of Trinity di Monti seems 
usually to house eight, that of S. Andrea degli Fratte 
houses twelve of them, and all interloping or blunder- 
ing couples are rigidly driven off. 

On the 15th July each year it was the custom for the 
Equestrian order — that is to say, the Knights — clad in 
their scarlet-striped 'trabea' and crowned with olive- 
leaves, to assemble in front of this temple for review 
by the Censors, in memory probably of the battle of 
Lake RegiUus. This was called Transvectio Equitum. 

In front (N.) of the Temple have been traced out scanty 
remains of an Equestrian statue platform, where, Cicero 
says, stood the statue of QninctiuB Marcius Tremulus, 
who defeated the Hernicans, B.C. 306 (Liv. ix. 43). 


* Rome, Faruary 20, 1900. 
' The Church of S. Maria Liberatrice is now no more, 
and the vast north-west angle of the Palatine, gloomy 
wiih the ruins of Caligula's palace and the dark grove 


of Ilex above them, may be almost said to frown over 
the Forum ; for the cloudy skies, for which the present 
year has been so remarkable here, still prevail. Built 
in 1550, and restored by Cardinal Lante in 1617, the 
late Church must have been again restored in the 
earliest part of this century, although the fact has not 
been noticed by Nibby or other antiquaries, for under 
the base of one of its piers were lately found coins of 
Pius VII. 

'The orange-trees, which the nuns cultivated behind 
S. Maria, will be removed to the Palatine and else- 

* Bomb, Mar^ 1900. 

'The orange -garden formerly at the rear of the 
Church of S. Maria Liberatrice, having been re- 
moved, under its southern extremity has come to 
light a large fresco of the Omcifixion, apparently a 
work of the eighth century. As a good deal of it 
has vanished, and exposure to the air will do it 
further harm, I will describe what remains of it. 
The subject covers a lunette 25 feet wide, and 
measures 10 English feet in vertical depth. The figures 
are on a scale not exceeding 4 feet, and the whole is 
painted on a blue ground. In the central portion is 
represented the Crucified Christ wearing a circular 
cruciform nimbus ; his body tinted red, and the cross 
yellow. Under each arm of the cross stood an aureoled 
saint ; while above the only remaining right arm of 
the cross are two six-winged cherubs, having hands 
and feet, the latter resting in flames. The outermost 
of these cherubs is painted bright red. The uppermost 
pairs of their respective wings are treated so as to form 
their nimbi, which are filled with eyes, as also are the 
grey feathers that clothe their bodies. Below is a 
group of saints and angels, whose action is that of 



bending in adoration to the cross. To the extreme 
right is painted the crescent moon. The vaulting 
above shows traces of a rich non-Christian mosaic. 
Unfortunately this is no more. It will be noticed 
that this fresco and mosaic did not decorate an apse, 
but a terminal Roman wall and vault. Beneath, on 
a red ground, runs a thirteen-line Greek inscription 
which will prove its connection with Byzantine times.' 

' Rome, April 14, 1900. 

^ Owing to the heavy rains but little progress 
has been effected in operations at the lower levels 
of the Forum. At the rear (£.) of the Augusteum, 
however, further removal of soil has shown the 
Greek inscription to extend. The Prior of the Basilian 
monks at Grottaf errata was at once invited to visit 
the spot in order that he might throw light on 
objects so intimately connected with the life of 
his mediaeval forebears in the City, but it was 
disappointing to find on his arrival that he could 
not read a word of Greek. The writing, however, 
appears to consist of a series of Scriptural quotations 
more or less appropriate to the subject of the Cruci- 
fixion represented above. Beneath it are remains 
of another section of this once large fresco. From 
brick-stamps found by me in site in various parts of 
the neighbouring walls which pertained to the north- 
west angle of Caligula's Palace, it is evident that 
Severus and Caracalla carried out serious alterations 
also at this part of the Palatine. In a portion of 
one of the inclined passages (Rampa) the workmen 
have just come upon the burial-place of generations 
of monks, whose bodies have been packed very close, 
and distributed in two long banks.' 

The excavation of the adjoining site of the late 


S. Maria Liberatrice was in fact carried out without 
intermiflsion, and has at last put us in possession of 
one of the most interesting ecclesiastical ruins in the 
Christian world — a small sixth-century Basilica. 

The history of this Christian Basilica (though it was 
never one of high order) is naturally of extreme in- 
terest, seeing that it arose as a chapel to the adjoining 
Imperial Palace of the Viceroys on one of the most 
memorable sites in Rome. To have been called 
' Antiqua ' in the seventh century carries with it no 
little significance, though the term probably does not 
refer to its own antiquity ; but to have been dedicated 
to the Virgin within a stone-throw of the defunct cult 
and convent of the Vestals, the former guardians of 
the safety of Rome, perhaps carries still more. 

The name ' S. Maria Antiqua ' has given rise to 
much conjecture, and it was formerly supposed that 
it betokened the especial antiquity of this dedication. 
Many students of the subject looked for evidences of 
third and fourth century paintings, and are surprised 
at discovering no evidences which can take us back 
before a.d. 570. Maybe the name merely derives from 
a Byzantine image, or ' Icon,' representing the Virgin, 
and showing her face, which was kept here as a relic 
of inestimable value. The ' Liber Fontificalis ' informs 
us with regard to an image of this nature that in 
A.D. 741 Gregory III. * deargentavit ac investivit 
de argento mundissimo pensante libras quinquaginta.' 
This precious * Icon * — if it was once here — has certainly 
vanished ; but, fortunately, the frescoes remaining 
in the Basilica present us with a Byzantine figure 
of Madonna and Child, enthroned, and three times 
repeated — which possibly recalls it. The earliest of 
these, situated on the wall to the right of the ter- 
minal apsis, is considered to date from the sixth century 


The same type is recognised in the mosaics of S, 
Apollinare Nuovo, at Ravenna, and in S. Marco, at 
Yenice. It is a conventionalised and traditional por- 
trayal, and derives from Byzantium, although the 
usual rigid severity or woodenness of Byzantine 
formalism is happily wanting here, is, in fact, Italian- 
ised, and the gravity is mingled therefore with a 
trace of natural sweetness. It may be a replica of 
the defaulting ' Icon ' on an enlarged scale. 

The Church later became a ' Diaconate/ and as such 
S. Maria holds the first place on the list of the Diacon- 
ates of Leo III. (795). In the ninth century it would 
seem to have been destroyed and abandoned. This was 
chiefly due to a catastrophe — the collapse of neglected 
walls belonging to the Imperial Palace overhanging it. 
Within the left aisle of the church remains (now re- 
moved) an immense block of brick and concrete, con- 
taining brick-stamps (fieri, q. n.), which belong to the 
earliest years of the second century. This mass had 
crashed through the gallery of the church, and reached 
its pavement, ruining in its descent half-a-dozen frescoed 
figures of beatified early Pontiffs on the wall behind it, 
and several scenes above them, which belonged to a 
series illustrating the life of Joseph, of which, however, 
some still remain. The Diaconate, with its eleemosynary 
establishments, was then transferred to S. Maria Nova 
(now S. Francesca), near the arch of Titus, on the Sacra 
Via, by Leo IV. (847). 

S. Maria has been formed, as so many early churches 
were, by appropriating the mansion of some official and 
an adjoining Imperial Hall (perhaps Library). It has a 
total width of fifty-five feet, with an Atrium and Narthex 
occupying the easternmost portions of the Augasteum. 
It has been a i^toro-hpusQ of fresco-work, the remains of 


which are abundant, though fragmentary. These mostly 
pertain to the eighth century, when the building evi- 
dently underwent extensive restorations (not for the first 
time) at tihe hands of Paul I. (757-67). To the left 
of the figure of Christ on the terminal apse that of this 
Pontiff, uncovered in 1702, and again in 1885, having 
a rectangular blue nimbus, is still recognisable. Hard 
by, on the right wall, appear portions of underlying 
frescoes of earlier date, t,e. that of Justinian II. (?). 

A salient archseological feature of the excavation is 
the fact clearly displayed that the Church thus brought 
back to light (which dates from the middle of the sixth 
century) occupies a Roman residence, including its 
atrium, peristylium, tablinum, and alse — probably the 
official residence of a high functionary, and, possibly, 
that of the Governor (Curator) of the Imperial Palace. 
In consequence, we have now in Rome three more or 
less imperfect Roman mansions, i,e, those of Livia 
on the Palatine, SS. Giovanni and Paolo on the 
Coelian, and the present one at the foot of the north- 
west angle of the Palatine. The small space between 
it and Caligula's Palace above is found to be occupied 
by a magnificent inclined rampa or winding passage, 
without stairs, paved, like the peristylium, with neat 
opu8 sptecUum of small bricks, which reached the * Clivus 
Victorise' at a level 70 feet above the Forum, or, the 
basement of that residence. This had formed the 
directest Imperial private way from the Palace to the 
Forum.i ^t ^^e lowest turn (S.) of this passage are 
seen remains of a guard-room, and a doorway barbarously 
cut in the wall for the mediaBval ecclesiastical conveni- 
ence, and leading to the left aisle of the church. The 

1 Beoalling Suetonias (Caligula, 22), ' Partem Falatii ad Foram 
usqae promoyit, atqae lede Gastoris et Pollucis in yestibuluixi 
tiansfigurata/ &c. 



O 41 

4, • 

<- » 

• e 



whole of the vast building hitherto known to us as the 
AuiniBteum, and supposed to be the work of Tiberius 
and Caligula, is proved to be the work of the greatest 
of Imperial builders— Hadrian. It is an unrecorded 
monument of his labours in Rome, and must now 
be added to the entire rebuilding by him of the 
Pantheon, to the erection of the Castle of S. Angelo 
(with its bridge), and of the Temples of Venus and 
Boma at the head of the Sacra Via. 

The Basilica, then, is approached from the Via Nova 
by means of a vestibule and a grand hall (width, 32 m.), 
originally vaulted, which is adorned all around by huge 
niches (round-headed and square-headed alternately) for 
Imperial statues. This has served the Christian Com- 
munity of the sixth century for their Atrium. After 
being denuded of its marbles, it has been frescoed by 
them, and on the western (R.) side it has had numerous 
loculi cut in its walls. The bodies of the important per- 
sons herein buried having been walled up, the wall-surface 
was then plastered with intonacOf painted with a legend, 
or the figure of a saint, and inscribed with the name and 
titles of the deceased. The Hadrianic walls are seven feet 
in thickness, so that these loeuU seem to be like mere rat- 
holes for insignificance. As we observe, looking at the 
base of the walls, the early (sixth-century) plunderers of 
the Imperial monuments have hacked and dragged out 
from beneath them the great travertine blocks from 
which they rise. At the centre of the left or eastern 
side of this Atrium, a fresco represented the burial of 
S. Anthony. This, again^ in tradition gave rise to a belief 
that a Church of S. Antonio might be found here. 
For instance, in the 'Mirabilia XJrbis,' it is written, 
* Fast by that house (the Basilica Julia, then called the 
Temple of Cores and Tellus) was the palace of Catiline 


(Caligula), where was a Church of S. Anthony, nigh 
whereunto is a place that is called ''Hell," because of 
old time it burst forth there, and brought great mischief 
to Rome' (c/. Nichols, *The Marvels of Rome,' p. 96-97). 

At the south-east end of the wall is a niche preserving 
a vivid portrait of a white-bearded saint named Abba- 
euros (our S. Cyres), to whom once pertained a small 
church beside the Forum of Trajan, called in later days 
Santa Pacera. His real name appears to have been 
S. Cyrus (Abbas). He is represented again in the 
Basilica itself in the Chapel of S. Stephen at the ter- 
mination of the light aisle. 

We may now picture to ourselves the Christian con- 
gregation collecting in the Atrium, and, surrounded by 
frescoed walls and niches, bearing dedications to parti- 
cular saints, together with* inscribed locidi containing 
bodies of patrons and officials of the Basilica, or of the 
Imperial and Pontifical Courts. For here it may be 
mentioned that portions of the ancient palace above were 
inhabited by Byzantine viceroys, but part also became 
a Papal residence under John VU. (705) — who not only 
repaired it with bricks bearing his name in Greek letters, 
but who expressly desired that his successors in the see of 
S. Peter would continue to reside there, and from thence 
direct Christendom. This pontifiE was the son of one 
Plato, Curator Palatii, who lies buried in S. Anastasia 
hard by, with a laudatory inscription, dated A.D. 687, 
mentioning his afiEectionate solicitude respecting ' prisca 
palatia Rome' (cf. De Rossi, Inscript. Christ., 11, 1, 
pp. 442-443, N. 153). Further, the Liber Pontifi- 
calls (1, 385, N. 167) teUs us that John YII. himself 
' Basilicam Sanctis Dei Genetricis qui Antiqua vocatur 
pictura decoravit, et super eandem ecclesiam Episoopiuna 
quantum ad se construere maluit, illioque Pontificati 


sui tempus vitam finivit* (He adorned the Basilica 
with picture-work, built for himself a residence thereby, 
and there ended his Pontificate with his life). 

Mindful of this it was with thrilling interest that, on 
the early morning of January 16, 1 found one of the work- 
men dragging out an octagonal block of marble (1*3 m. 
X 73 cms.) from the soil immediately in front of the 
Sanctuary, around which was inscribed, in well-cut 
relief lettering, ' Johannes Servus Stse Marise ' in Greek 
and in Latin. It is the base of the ambo, or pulpit, 
mentioned in the Liber Fontificalis (1-385). 

In the days, therefore, when the Basilica was still 
being used, and was practically a Cappella Falatina, 
a stranger visiting Rome would have seen the men 
and women thronging through this lofty and spacious 
Atrium from three separate entrances, the wide 
central one (dating from Imperial times) probably 
being reserved for Clergy and officiala To the left 
of this, men would have poured in through a narrow, 
roughly-cut aperture, corresponding to one on the right 
of it, through which would have come the women. For 
here, it is manifest that these entrances are in line 
with those admitting to the respective aisles for the 
two sexes in the Basilica (S.) beyond. From each of 
these aisles two doorways led respectively into the 
long upward-winding passage on the east, conducting 
to the Palatine; and on the west, into the *Augus- 
teum,' which had also become occupied by ecclesiastical 
buildings. The northemmostof these two latter doorways 
(opened in 1885), decorated with saints on both sides, has 
been also roughly cut through the Imperial wall. 

Ihiring tentative excavations made in 1702 and in 
1885, these now deleted remains of frescoed figures of 
eastern and western saints were discovered. They, how- 


ever, were but a nine-days' wonder, and were either 
covered up again or left to perish. In the latter of 
these discoveries, I remember to have seen the passage 
between the two chief halls of the now excavated edifice 
with five saints on each side of it. Now, only the re- 
mains of two of their aureoles can be made out. 


Beneath a rectangular recess adorned with the still 
brilliant Crucifixion (of which presently) the wall is 
divided into three vertical sections. The central one 
of these is seen to be occupied by a Madonna, enthroned 
sitting on a large cushion, with the Infant Jesus. Un- 
fortunately, the exceptionally inferior brick-work upon 
which the upper portions of these figures were painted, 
gave way on this level being reached by the spade, with 
the result that the heads and shoulders have disap- 
peared, together with portions of the figures of SS. 
Peter and Paul flanking the throne. The latter saints, 
however, are respectively succeeded by smaller figures 
representing (as their inscriptions display) SS. Quiricus 
and Jolitta, son and mother, two martyrs of Tarsus, 
in the days of Diocletian, whose story is seen depicted 
upon the side-walls of the chapel. To the extreme 
left of the enthroned Madonna is a portrait of Pope 
Zacharias (a.b. 741-752); while to the extreme right 
is the seated figure, having a model of a barrel- 
vaulted church in his hands, above whom is inscribed : 


d(isp)ensatobe . s(an)c(t)b . d(e)i . ge(nitrig)is , 


— in white letters. While the other figures mentioned 
are represented with round nimbi, Theodotus and Pope 
Zacharias wear rectangular ones, thereby manifesting 


that they were living when they were thus portrayed. 
The presence of that Theodotus (previously known to 
us as the uncle of Pope Hadrian I., a.d. 772, and the 
founder of S. Angelo in Fescheria) with the model 
of a round-roofed shrine in his hand, assures us that 
he is the restorer and decorator of at least this Chapel, 
with these same paintings. It is possible even that 
this chapel may have been the germ of the later 
Basilica, and contained the original Icon; moreover, 
that (as Father Grisar, S. J., thinks) the other chambers 
of the former Pagan mansion were afterwards added as 
expansions of this precious sanctuary. But if so, that 
occurred two hundred years before the days of Theo- 
dotus, and it cannot be proved. 

The side-walls from its pavement are painted, until 
this same level is reached, with conventional curtains. 
To this decoration succeeds a series of twelve frescoes, 
more or less damaged, vividly illustrating the story of 
the two martyrs above-mentioned after their flight from 
Iconium to Tarsus. The first picture represents the 
mother and son conducted before the Roman magis- 
trate, Alexander. The fourth shows the flagellation of 
S. Quiricus. The fifth the miracle of his speaking 
to the magistrate after his tongue had been removed. 
The sixth portrays the mother and son in prison. 

On the opposite or western wall (which has had 
two small doors of communication with the chancel) 
are depicted the later episodes of their lives. The first 
shows the martyrs lying side by side in a receptacle 
intended for a frying-pan (Sartago), which two men are 
endeavouring to lift. Above, to the left, Christ, on 
an aureoled cross surrounded by angels, throws divine 
rays upon the two sufferers. Here follows the legend : 
' + Ubi Scs OviBiovs cum matre sua in Sartaoine Missi 


sunt.' The second picture describes two moments of 
the martyrdom of S. Quiricus. In one, the saint is 
having nails dxiven into his head, upon which an angel 
(flying through the air) throws beams of benediction. 
In the other, a soldier holds the martyr in the air by 
a leg, as in the act of dashing him to death. The 
inscription, as well as the other frescoes on this wall, 
are irreparably damaged, both by having been covered 
up so long and by having been once more exposed 
to the caprices of Roman temperatures. At the same 
time everything scientifically possible, including formic 
acid, has been resorted to in order to sterilise the minute 
organisms which would soon, if permitted, entirely obli- 
terate the pictures. The sun never enters here. Hence 
it must always have been an unhealthy spot. 

There remains to describe those pictures which adorn 
the dark wall by which this chapel is entered from the 
sanctuary, and the Crucifixion above the vanished altar 
opposite. Standing mthin and looking up, to the 
left of the door appears a man dressed in brown 
(similar to the colour of the ' Fhenolion * worn by 
Theodotus on the opposite wall) carrying two curious 
votive candles to a figure which no doubt was that 
of the Virgin with the Infant Saviour. Between 
these two stands a small figure^ having a quad- 
rated nimbus; and beyond them occurs yet another 
with a similar nimbus, wearing a splendid necklace and 
holding a red flower in hand. This fresco is held to 
depict Theodotus, his wife^ and children, as donors in 
the presence of the Madonna. 

To iiie.left ot the aisle-door, Theodotus kneeling ofiEers 
two lighted candles, and turns himself toward two other 
figures, a male and a female, wearing the round nimbi 
and bearing tokens of martyrdom; doubtless SS. 
Quiricus and Jolitta, his especial saints. To the f^igJit 


of the aisle-door are a series of saints inscribed anony- 
mously ' quorum nomina Dominus sciet.' Looking up 
at the lofty arched vaulting oi this chapel we detect the 
evidences of noble panels of Imperial stucco which have 
long since vanished. A large hole in it, corresponding 
to a lump of masonry, formerly lying on the pavement 
below, used to tell the story of its ruin. 

Fresco of the Crucifixion. — The figure of Christ is 
represented in a sleeveless, blue tunic, having two 
stripes of gold on the front. The feet are nailed 
separately. The arms are extended straight, and the 
crucified one, wearing a cruciform nimbus, regards 
with serenity His weeping mother, who is standing at 
his right just beyond Longinus, the soldier, who has 
already pierced the body and is withdrawing a spear. 
On the other side of the Cross the executioner pushes 
a sponge at the end of a cane up to the sufferer. 
Beyond him stands S. John the Evangelist in a yellow 
pallium and white tunic. Above the head of Christ on 
a tabula ansata is the superscription in Greek letters, 
and over the arms of the Cross the sun and moon, 
purposely bedimmed, throw their last rays upon the 
scene. On the jambs of the recess rise two palm-trees 
loaded with dates. This picture must be considered 
one of the most precious of Christian memorials of the 
eighth century, and appears to be a copy of the mosaic 
of the same subject which formerly adorned the Chapel 
of the Virgin in S. Pietro, made for Pope John VII. 
One burial was found in this chapel. 

The chapel heading the right (or Female) aisle has 
suffered so extensively that there is little left to describe 
here. It is of smaller dimensions, and has been built 
over a first-century pavement of tegtdoB bipedales resting 
on arched vaults. The medisevals have driven a large well 


through it In the rectangular niche in the wall oppo- 
site the entrance of it one can trace the upper portions 
of figures of five saints, i,e. Kosmas, Abbacyres, Stephen, 
Procopios, Damianos. As the first and last of these 
were medical martyrs highly venerated in Rome, having 
had dedicated to them in a.I). 526 the church in the 
Forum still known by their names, this chapel may 
also have been called after them. Fragmentary 
figures of at least nine other saints, including S. 
John and S. Fantalemon and S. Keleos, can be made 
out ; but the itUonaco has mostly given way owing to 
damp, so that the remaining letters of their inscriptions 
can only be filled in by speculation. These inscrip- 
tions, however, like those in the Apsis and those 
beside the figures of pontiffs and eastern saints and 
patriarchs along the left aisle, are written in Graeco- 
Byzantine characters, while all those in the Chapel of 
8S. Quiricus and Jolitta (except that above the cross) 
are in the Latin. It may prove to be important 
archseologically that the Imperial tiles of the floor of 
this chapel, where left in sitUf have an orientation 30" 
east of north. 

The Aisle headed by this latter chapel has likewise 
suffered far more than its fellow, the sole recognisable 
representations along it being three small heads and 
a roughly-hollowed niche containing important figures 
of SS. Anna, Maria (Eliz)abet. The wall was, no doubt, 
violently swept by the falling of the right gallery and 
vaulting above. It is worthy of note that S. Anna, 
who was 'translated' in A.D. 715, is also depicted on 
the right wall of the Presbytery. The Rev. G. Ban- 
nister believes that we here have the earliest western 
memorials of the cult of this saint. 

At the head of the Nave fragments of the white 



marble-fluted pilasters of the chancel gateway remain 
in situ. Above it an arch united the frescoed piers. 
On the inner (R.) side of the Sanctuary-screen are 
remains of a fresco representing David and Gtoliatli ; 
and another, with Isaiah warning Hezekiah of his end. 
Coming toward us (N.) from those piers, and in line 
with them, at a distance of 2 m. 60 cms. apart, rise from 
their brick plinths two grey granite columns in succes- 
sion on each side, leading northward to similar frescoed 
piers, one of which (that on the left) is gone. From 
these latter piers, towards the central area, again pro- 
ject from the ground remains of the former low wall- 
screen, which centring (as at the other end) in a small 
gate, closed in the quadrangular space wherein stood 
or sat the sub-deacons and the ' infantes ' on each side 
— Decani and Gantores. This space was termed Schola 
Oantomm. Up the centre of it ran a path (interrupted 
by the octagonal base of a (?) baptistery) leading to the 
presbytery ; and toward the upper (or southern) end of 
it stood an ambo. A portion of this has already been 
referred to with its interesting inscription of John Y II. 
The piers above-mentioned are all Imperial, while the 
screen-walls are Christian constructions, and the granite 
columns have been brought from elsewhere. This 
entrance to the ' Schola ' occurred at some eight feet 
distant from the central doorway to the Basilica, where 
we still stand; and we notice that another enclosed 
space (part of the original peristyle) has thus been 
located in front of us, and before it^ by another low 
screen-wall of rough brick (also once frescoed), which 
continued the line of piers and columns up to the 
wall right and left of us ; so that the aisles for the re- 
spective sexes were cut<off from the central body of the 
church. In earlier Christian days this other enclosure 


would have been a'Narihex' for the penitents, and 
probably was so-called, though its original function had 
ceased in the period when this church was made. 

Turning our attention now to the left (or Men's) aisle, 
its wall is seen to be centred by an enthroned fresco 
of Christ with cruciform nimbus, holding a book in his 
left hand and blessing with his right. Immediately 
beneath this projects from the wall a low rectangular 
reliquary lined with marble. It may once, perhaps, 
have held a piece of the Cross or some such relic. 
Beside it, either way, runs (in fresco) a white conven- 
tional curtain with tassels, recalling to us those hanging 
from rods, which were used instead of actual wall- 
screens in many early Christian basilicas. Above this 
decorative tier, on the left of Christy is a series 
of eastern saints — SS. John Chrysostom, Gregory Nazi- 
anzen, Basilius, Alexandrinus, Cyrillus, Epiphanius, 
Athanasius, Nicolaus, and Erasmus ; while on his right 
are Popes Clement, Silvester, Leo, Alexander, Yalen- 
tinus, Abundius, Euthumius, Sabbas, Sergius,Gregorius, 
and others, mostly ruined. 

Above this zone or tier is crudely depicted, in suc- 
cessive episodes, the Story of Joseph, with the banquet 
in the House of Pharaoh, and also that of Jacob. This 
zone was succeeded by yet another before the gallery was 
reached, but the fall of the latter must have obliterated 
this. Enough remains to prove that it was a con- 
tinuation of the same heroic story, depicted by artists 
of the eighth century. 

'* These pictures have an especial interest for English 
people. They belong to, and are typical of, an age 
when England was in process of receiving a new eccle- 
siastical culture and discipline from Rome, and when, 
therefore, the relations between them were peculiarly 


intimate. Archbishop Theodore was a representative 
of the Byzantine colony in Home, and he and others 
would naturally carry with them to England not only 
the learning and ecclesiastical discipline, but also the 
art with which they were familiar. . . . When Benedict 
Biscop returned from his first visit to Rome, in A.D. 678, 
among other things which he brought back for the 
benefit of his church at Wearmouth were designs for 
pictures with which to decorate the walls. We are told 
that the figures of the Virgin and the Apostles occupied 
the vault (perhaps the Apse is meant), the Gospel 
history the northern wall, and the visions of the Apoca- 
lypse the southern. Here we have a church completely 
and consistently decorated with paintings after the 
Byzantdne fashion" (N. Rushforth, pp. 16, 17). 

Although favoured individuals have been buried in 
loetdi in the walls of both Atrium and Basilica, three or 
four still more favoured ones have been accorded the 
unusual honour of a marble Sarcophagus under the floor 
or against the walls. The handsomest of these was 
found at the entrance of the left (or men's) aisle. Like 
the others, it has been stolen from some tomb beyond 
the city walls, and brought in for the obsequies of some 
wealthy patron or high official of this Basilica. The 
sides of it are richly decorated with masks and garlands 
deeply undercut, and it displays scarcely any drill-work. 
It has no inscription, and the lid is wanting. Against 
the terminal wall of the start of the opposite (or 
women's) (B.) aisle rests, in situ, above ground, another 
specimen of a later date, and interesting on account of its 
unerased Pagan inscription to Clodia Secunda, wife for 
seven years, four jmonths, and eighteen days of Lucius 
Coelius Florentinus, centurion of the 10th Urban Oohort, 
who tells the passer-by that their married life ^/utt sine 


qtierda ; ' and further, that she was born when Mamer- 
tinus and Rufus were Consuls (a.d. 182), and died ' xv. 
Kalendas Julias/ when Apronius and Mazimus were 
Consuls, i.e. June 17, a.d. 207 ; otherwise, in the year 
when Severus was meditating his expedition to Britain. 
One cannot help feeling that although Clodia's remains 
have been ejected and their resting-place used by some 
doubtless important lady unknown during the seventh 
or eighth century, the memory of Clodia and her happy 
married life has triumphed over very violent circum- 
stances. For by means of this delightful detailed in- 
scription upon her marble sarcophagus, she speaks to 
us in spite of the spoliation of her family tomb, in spite 
of her Paganism, the transportation of her sarcophagus, 
and the final ruin of the Basilica to which it was trans- 
ferred. It may well be that the Christian lady who 
became possessed of this sarcophagus refused to have 
those happy words erased. Probably her own name 
and date were painted only on the wall above her tomb, 
but all trace of them has vanished. 

The earliest Christian sepulchral inscription belong- 
ing to the Basilica is on a slab which covered the 
remains of five people in a grave between the Atrium 
and the spring of Juturna, a space which became a 
gruesome cemetery lying out in front of the Basilica as 
one approached it from the Temple of Castor. This 
inscription belongs to Amantius, a goldsmith : < Qui 
vixit plus minus annis L P(ost) C(onsulatum) Domini 
Justini. P(atris) P(atri8B) Aug(usti) Ind(ictione) 
Quarta,' i.e. a.d. 570. 

With all these Christian interments without cre- 
mation and the later Christian perversion of the con- 
tiguous sacred Fountain of Juturna (Q.Y.) into a common 
Latrina, we may imagine the pestilential condition of 


this spot during the Middle Ages ; nor need we wonder 
that the hospital attached to the former church above 
it (S. Maria Liberatrice) in 1389 had more than once 
to be entirely abandoned on account of malaria. In 
1529 the nuns of S. Maria were nearly all dead of it, 
and the trustees of the church and hospital placed in 
charge of it Sisters Ludovica and Pacifica of the IVan- 
ciscan Tertiariea The tomb and inscription of the 
former came to light high up in the excavation. Her 
remains are still there. Nor, again, need we wonder 
that the place became known as ' Inferno.' Yet these 
poor nuns and their priests, with their little Church of 
S. Maria Liberatrice, went on faithfully praying day 
and night to be delivered from plague, pestilence, <kc., 
while they sank their drinking-wells again and again 
into the soil thus doubly polluted by their Christian 
predecessors. Truly, when the complicated excavation, 
so ably carried out, came down through the older levels 
with their appalling filth, and there, lying defaced and 
scattered among it, we saw brought up to light again the 
statues of Apollo, iSsculapius, Diana Lucifera, the 
Pagan gods of health, and the bubbling spring of 
Juturna itself (over which the Vestals had presided), 
our respect for Cremation, for classical methods of sani- 
tation, went up at a bound. We felt that the real 
dragon, whose pestilential breath killed men and women 
there, and which church legend states was slain by 
S. Sylvestro, had been in reality foul emanations and 
typhoid fever; and that the saint had maybe scotched, 
but indeed not killed it. 

As yet we have no evidence to prove what was the 
immediate reason for Hadrian's labours here. The 
Augnstenni, built by Tiberius and Livia in a.d. 68 (by 
strange coincidence with the tragic extinction of the 


Augustan DyDasty), had been struck by lightning {cf. 
Sueton. Galb. c. 1) and its portico with a valuable library 

We are also told that the sceptre was struck from the 
hand of the statue of Augustus. Its restoration was, 
doubtless, begun by Vespasian. Domitian (a.d. 81-96) 
rebuilt it, establishing close to it a temple in honour of 
his favourite Sabine divinity, Minerva ; upon the walls 
of which used to be fastened military diplomas {cf. Corp, 
Inscrip, Laitruj III. p. 916). Here, then, at the close of 
the first century, we find were located the Augusteum and 
the Temple of Minerva adjoining it ; though some archae- 
ologists wisely imagine that this Minerveum was perhaps 
a small shrine attached to Castor. Others again think 
that the present Augusteum housed the library or 
libraries of Tiberius, brought from the Palace above. 

Between this period and the reign of Hadrian (or 
during this reign), some great catastrophe must, there- 
fore, have occurred to these edifices which compelled 
that Emperor to turn his attention to their wholesale 
reconstruction from the foundations. Gold and silver 
coins, of Antoninus Pius, belonging to a.d. 159^ record 
the completion of this astonishing work. 

Since this excavation took place more ground has been 
opened up between the Temple of Augustus and the little 
circular Church of S. Teodoro ; with the result of un- 
covering a trapezoidal portions surrounded by important 
Tabernse, or shops built in opua quadraium, somewhat re- 
sembling those of the Basilica iSmilia, and having pave- 
ments of opiis spicatum, A surviving fragment of the 
marble plan or map of Rome already had given the design 
of this. What has to be added to this plan in consequence 
of excavation amounts to detail and the addition of 
debased inner works belonging to post-Imperial days. 


The poverty in the matter of inscriptions here has 
been notable. The marbles were robbed in very early 
days, and, as the buildings here faced the popular Yicus 
Tuscus, this is scarcely matter for surprise. 


Immediately south-east of the Temple of Castor was 
unearthed an oratory of the tenth century, having a 
width of 11*60 m.^ and a length, to head of Apsis, 
9*70 m. It was paved with scraps of giallo, serpentino 
and porphyry. The Apsis (of 4*40 m.) is painted with 
a fresco representing the martyrs of Sebaste in Arme- 
nia, who were condemned to stand in an icy pool; 
truly in curious contrast to the reputation of this spot^ 
so long called * Inferno.' The fortitude of one of the 
number having failed him, he is seen stepping out of 
the pool. An angel is said to have taken his place. 
Just inside the oratory were found some important 
sarcophagi. The building once had a gallery round it. 
It stands blocking the Nova Via. 


Sta. Maria Antiqua having been thoroughly explored, 
and its contents carefully tabulated, the vaultings of 
its aisles have been reconstructed, so as to preserve it 
for ages to come, and a most solemn and remarkable 
Christian monument it will always prove to students 
of Church history. And now attention is turned to 
the church which, under the title of Sta. Maria Nova, 
Leo lY. (847-55) erected at the head of the Sacra Via, 
which in time came to fulfil the office of substitute for 
the Sta. Maria Antiqua which had been demolished 
by the collapse of the Imperial Palace walls long 


overhanging it. The Diaconate was transferred to 
the new church : ' Basilica beatie Dei Genetricis, quae 
olim Antiqua vocabatur, nunc autem sita est juzta Via 
Sacra ' {Liher PonHficalis, 2, 145). 

As is well known, this church had its title changed 
after the canonisation, in 1608, of Sta. Francesca 
Romana (Ponziani), who had been buried in it in 1440, 
and whose remains had proved peculiarly fruitful in 
miracles. In fact, soon after her decease, solid gifts 
of money enabled the Olivetan monks then there to 
enlarge their cloister and perpetrate the direst vandal- 
isms in the portico and cella of the Temple of Venus, 
to the rear of their church. The porphyry columns of 
the Fronaos had, several of them, been removed long 
before, probably by Honorius I. ^625), after he plun- 
dered the gilt bronze tiles from the roof in order to 
cover the early basilica of S. Peter. 

Fragments of these columns yet remain at the south 
front of the neighbouring Basilica of Maxontius, having 
been placed there to adorn a late portico of that edifice 
after its original entrance (toward the Goliseum) had 
been closed up, and a new one with a flight of debased 
stairs was opened from it on to the Sacra Via ; that 
is, after the destruction of the Horrea in front of it. 
In 1450, the few remaining ones were turned to base 
account by leave, if not by command, of the learned 
Nicholas V. In 1819, Antonio Nibby says there was 
found between the church and the Arch of Titus a 
limekiln, 4n which lay fragments of precious marble 
mouldings, lumps of red porphyry broken by hammers, 
and belonging to the internal decoration of Hadrian's 
masterpieces — ^the twin temples of Venus and Roma.' 
Porphyry being of no use for cement, it was used to 
line the kilns with. 


This admirable archaeologist (whose works have 
proved, like the temples themselves, a quarry for the 
bookmakers of our own times) again noticed, when Sta. 
Francesca was being restored in 1828, that the cores 
of its walls had been built with the materials of the 
temple. He further considers that the devastation at 
that spot had been chiefly due to Paul II. (Barbo), 
1462, when constructing the vast Palazzo Yenezia. 
At any rate, in the fifteenth century arose the present 
edition of the graceful cloister, of four bays, some 80 
feet square, in two tiers of round arcading carried 
upon octagonal brick columns, with short, archaically- 
foliated capitals. The latter-day monks finding them- 
selves needing more room, filled up these bays with 
thin, brick walling. All this is being rapidly removed; 
and having been over every part of the building, I can 
safely prophesy that this will ultimately make one of 
the most attractive museums in Rome. It will include 
the cella of the temple, wherein (under cover also) the 
larger fragments of cornice and frieze found embedded 
or buried, will be placed to advantage. The tower 
of this church is probably the most perfect of the 
thirteenth-century campaniles in Rome, and visitors 
to the museum in future years will be able to make 
more delightful intimacy with it, and the still jewel-like 
green majolica plates, and porphyry discs and crosses 
inserted in its successive open tiers, and which catch 
the afternoon sun so happily. 


' Quae presidet stagnis e fluminibus sonoris.' The 
late Church of S. Maria liberatrice, or Libera nos^ 
a pcenis infemis^ was built early in the seventeenth* 


century. By good fortune its builders in laying the 
foundations failed to discover the second Well of 
Juturna and the shrine (iEdicola), slightly trapezoidal 
in form, belonging to that nymph, with its pronaos 
and ceUa^ which were standing, orientated in the 
ancient manner, immediately south of it. It is, there- 
fore, by chance only that the latest version of the 
.i^icola Juturnae has survived to our time, together 
with the inscription ' Juturnai Sacrum ' upon the 
epistyle. Thus a prediction of the late master-archaeo- 
logist, Jordan, was fulfilled. But the excavation as it 
proceeded laid bare, other objects only a little less 
important, namely, the Lacus Juturnae, or pool ; in- 
scriptions relating to the Curatores Aquarimi (who, in 
Imperial days, had their offices here) ; and a number 
of statues of the ancient divinities presiding over 
Hygiene, all, alas, in a much mutilated condition — 
Jove, Apollo, JSsculapius, Minerva (Medica), and 
Castor. The sacred pool, exquisitely reformed and 
redecorated in the second century a.d. with white 
marble, proved to have been turned into a Christian 
latrina; and these gods of health, together with a 
small marble altar, were lying scattered and ruined in 
a deposit four feet thick of an indescribable filth. 

The deep pool ^ (or tank), fed by two powerful springs, 
is in form oblong,^ cased with white marble, and centred 
by an isolated quadrangular pedestal intended for a 
statue or altar. So profuse was the outpour of the 
spring when the men reached it that engines had to 
pump day and night for some time in order to keep it 
under control until the explorer could turn it away into 
the neighbouring Cloaca. Within the basin were then 
found many hundreds of glass phials, lamps, vases, and 

1 M. 212. • M. 5-13 X 5-04. 

By F. TiicteU, Etq. 


* • • >' • 

* ■> D ■> t " 

• « « « -1 

■J ■» 

Shrine of Juturma a 



jars, dating from times when the sacred water was 
fetched from Lence for private as well as for public lus- 
trations of House and Altar down to the days when the 
aqueducts worked no more and the Tiber was once 
again a poisonous sewer ; and even this spring, fouled 
with contaminations, was sought for drinking-water. 

On the Futeal, or marble well-head, which stands in 
front of the shrine, and slightly out of line with the 
axis of it, is inscribed twice, once on the lip or cornice 
and once upon the entablature — 

M . Babbatius . Poijjo 

AEd(iLI8) Oub(ULI8) 



This Curule ^dile who restored the Puteal of 
Juturna in the first century B.C. may have been a son 
of the Barbatus PoUio mentioned by Cicero.^ Yaglieri 
thinks it was that individual himself. The well was 
likewise full of soil and fragments of jars, &c. In 
front of it on a small stylobate was found overturned 
a fourth -century altar of Luna marble ; upon the 
panelled sides of which are sculptured, in relief, figures 
framed with leaf-moulding. The subjects are attributed 
by Marucchi to incidents in the career of Juturna (?). On 
the sides appear the patera and prefericulum. On the 
other altar, found in the Lacus or pool, in like style 
and manner are sculptured Leda standing : Diana 
Lucifera (torch-bearer), the Dioscuri themselves, and 
Jove standing, sceptre in one hand and lightning in 
the other, and draped with the Himation. 

Here at last, then, was rediscovered that famous 

1 Phillip, 13. 


Basin which collected the Sacred waters in their out- 
flow, of whose health-giving properties Frontinus (De 
Aquoeducttbus, 1, 4) eloquently testifies. This writer pro- 
hably saw it decorated with holy laurels and roses on 
January 11, the anniversary of the Battle of ^Egates 
Insulae (b.c. 241), by which Lutatius Catulus brouglit 
the first Punic War to a close by defeating Hanno at 
sea, sinking fifty of his ships. For Catulus vowed a 
temple^ to Juturna, goddess of waters, if he should 
gain a victory at sea ; so that sailors might pay their 
devotion to Juturna, as well as fishermen (piscatarii)^ 
and such a collegium as the ' Fullones.' * Juturnse f erias 
celebrant qui artificium aqua exercent/ 

Servius (a.d., iEn., xii. 139), however, was thinking 
probably of what Propertius^ and the medical prac- 
titioners and the Yestals related of the waters when he 
wrote, ' Fons est in Italia salubenima . . . de hoc fonte 
Romam ad omnia sacrificia aqua afferri consueverat.' 
The excavation showed only too well how revered the 
spot had been from this point of view, having evidently 
formed the meeting-place of the gods of Health. But 
with the common folk there was chiefly remembered 
the ever-delightful legend of the appearance of the 
sons of Leda watering their steeds after the battle 
of Regillus, the cause and origin of the adjoiniug 
temple; moreover, they had appeared a second time 
there announcing the victory of i^jnilius Paulus over 
Perseus at Pydna.^ But the links between them and 
Juturna become still more obvious when we learn 
that the medical practice of putting patients to sleep 
and dream in the porch of certain temples was used 
in their own, * in quorum templo somniorum in- 

* JMes Jaturose. * Lympha Salabris. 

< Plat., Vita j£mU. PauUi. 


Pool, or Lacus, ■ 


■ - t 


terpretes haberi solent' {Schol. ad Pers., ii. 56); and 
Oommendatore Boni thinks that some of the mosaic- 
paven little passages north of the Lacus may have 
been used for such a purpose here. ^Multi segroti 
banc aquam peter e solent^' wrote Yarro. It is possible 
tbat the various Guilds concerned with the worship of 
Juturna may have used and decorated these chambers. 
Tbe mosaics represent the sea or river, with fisher- 
men and fish and a sea-gull (?). Three pavements are 
superposed here. Behind these (E.) a broken external 
rampay or stairway, sustained on mounting arches is 
seen leading up to the Palatine. There remains to 
complete the excavations in this corner of the Forum 
only the Nova Via,^ which at present lies some fifteen 
feet below its present level, and should come to the 
back of the apse of the Oratory of the Forty Martyrs. 
There we .may expect further enlightenments of an 
interesting nature. 



Visitors to the Museo delle Terme have noticed work- 
men at various times during the past year (1903-1904) 
busily modelling and then setting together portions of 
a design in relief, reproducing some important monu- 
ment of ancient art. They have been, in truth, work- 
ing under Professor Pasqui, endeavouring to reconstruct 
the magnificent Ara Pacis decreed by the Senate in 
honour of Augustus, B.C. 13, after his successful under- 
takings in Spain and Gaul which signalised the peace 
of the Roman world. The Emperor, modestly refusing 
the proffered dedication of it to himself, offered it in- 

^ 'Forte revertebar festU Vestalibns ilia, 

Qua Nova Romano nunc Via junota Foro est ' {FaHi, vi. 395). 


stead to Peace; and at the close of January of that 
year he dedicated a colossal altar, surrounded by a 
marble screen upon which were sculptured pannelled 
reliefs representing processions of his relatives, noble 
friends, priests,^ and others. These were all crowned 
with laurel, and bore branches of olive in their hands. 
Above them ran an enriched frieze displaying elabo- 
rately-carven foliations, flowers, and festoons, typifying 
the fertility of the earth. It was a golden moment in 
the Art- life of Rome, and the design and workmanship 
were of the finest. The monument practically con- 
sisted of a rectangular platform (having a front and 
back of 36 feet, with sides measuring 33 feet), reached 
by a flight of steps from the Via Flaminia (Corso). 
The sculptured precinct wall, covered with the afore- 
said reliefs, was interrupted in the midst by majestic 
gates, probably of gilded bronze. Within this inclosure 
rose a second platform, gained by four more steps, and 
upon the further side of this stood the altar itself. 
Thus, in its entirety, the monument resembled a 
graduated depressed pyramid. 

The position given to it in the Campus Martins cor- 
responds with the angle of the Via S. Lorenzo in 
Lucina, where that street opens out of the modem 
Corso, nearly opposite Yia Frattina at the Palazzo 
Fiano-Ottoboni, in the cellars and among the founda- 
tions of which the present exploration and excavation 
was commenced. For, stimulated by the fine volumes 
devoted to illustrating this great monument by Pro- 
fessor Petersen of the German ArchsBological Institute 
in Rome, the Municipality and the Minister of Public 
Instruction, having come to agreement as to the 
significance of precisely locating the site, approached 

1 Flamens. 




Signor Almagia, the proprietor of the palace, who 
(himself a skilful engineer and lover of archsBology) 
not only helped to bring about the desired research, 
but has generously aided it with funds. In consequence 
the work was put into the hands of Signor Cannizzaro, 
who began operations on July 27, 1903. Early in 
August an opening was made in Yia Lucina, and pre- 
sently traces led the explorer right on to the longitu- 
dinal axis of the spacious altar, even to the sill of the 
great door which opened to the Yia Flaminia. 

As far back as in 1568, Cardinal Ricci of Montepul- 
ciano wrote from Rome to the secretary of the Qrand 
Duke of Tuscany that beautiful reliefs sculptured on 
immense blocks of Greek marble (it should have been 
Carrara) had been found when the Palazzo Ottoboni 
was being built, and that they would be soon forwarded 
to Florence. These ones (six in number) are still to 
be seen displayed in the Uffizi Gallery. Other frag- 
ments went to the Villa Medici on Monte Pincio, where 
they yet adorn the rear wall of the College. During a 
restoration of the same palace in 1859 some dozen 
further fragments came to light. On February 16, 
1899, while visiting the choir of the Jesuit Church, 
where repairs were going on, the writer was fortunate 
enough fco recognise another fragment, which had been 
utilised since 1623 as the gravestone of a bishop of 
Lucca. The upper face of it had been smoothed and 
inlaid with verde antico and broccatello marbles so as to 
represent the Arms and cardinal's hat of Sebastiano 
Foggio, the said prelate. On the under side were 
sculptured scrolls and foliations of unmistakable Augus- 
tan work. This was another fragment, measuring six 
feet by four. It is now in the museum cloister. 

The present condition of the exposed monument 


would indicate its having been destroyed both by fire 
and by deliberate blows, and the broken fragments are 
found lying at no distance from the portions to which 
they once belonged. Seyei'al pieces of the jambs of 
the doors have been recovered, as well as of the angular 
pilasters projecting from the marble screen wall. One 
of the most significant features now recognised is that 
of a second, or posterior, door on the eastern side of 
the monument with the broad steps leading to it, as 
represented in a fine 'bronze' of Domitian. It is 
necessary to state that the excavation has required 
the formation of several small tunnels, in which are 
encountered the portions still remaining in 9itu, as well 
as splendid decorated blocks which yet lie obstruct- 
ing progress and proving very difficult of extraction. 
A much later enclosing-wall, of brick and travertine", 
has been likewise found, having been constructed 
apparently with a view to isolate the Altar from imping- 
ing edifices. Much, however, remains to be explored 
still before we can hope to see a possible, and worthy, 
rehabilitation of this capolavoro of antiquity ; to which 
end it will further be needful that the Louvre, the 
Uffizi, and the Vatican shall generously contribute the 
various portions already in their respective keepings. 

The excavation has been carried on under consider- 
able difficulties, lying, as the monument does, 18 feet 
below the street level and subject to the serious influx 
of spring-water. It is lit with electric light. 


■ * 
Three features in relation to the main tradition of 

this site are marked ones. The first, that it was 


marshy ground ^ in the days of the war between Tatius 
and Romulus ; that it was connected with an act of self- 
devoted heroism ; and that this latter caused it. to become 
a < locus religiosus/ with the name of Curtius attached. 

< Curtium in locum palustrem qui tum f uit in Foro 
antequam Cloacse sunt factse, secessisse, atque ad suos 
se in Capitolium recepisse ; ab eo lacum invenisse 
nomen * {Ling. Laty v. 149, 150), writes Varro. Curtius 
plunged in at a marshy spot which was in the Forum 
before the CloacsB were made. That is to say, the 
Forum was then watery — a back-water, in fact, of the 
Tiber — and needed to be crossed in a boat. In 
attempting to pursue the Romans, therefore, Curtius 
plunged bravely in, but he lost his life. 

A second tradition, belonging to the days immediately 
succeeding the Gaulish invasion, connected it with 
another Curtius, a Roman knight, who, in order to 
stay the plague which was decimating the city, devoted 
himself to the gods (perhaps Dis Pater) below by 
leaping aU armed and on horseback into an ominous 
gulf that refused to close — as the Oracle said it would 
— until it should receive the gift most precious to the 
people. And it closed over him. This story suggests 
a human sacrifice. 

A third story is related to the effect that the spot was 
enclosed by Curtius, a consul, because it was fidguntum, 
or a place struck by lightning, B.c. 446 (Tacta de Omlo). 

In whatever light we may regard these legends, 
relating to an abyss once in the ancient Forum, we can 
entertain no doubt that, to the Roman mind through- 
out the ages, this peculiarly sacred spot was especially 
linked with the idea of devotion to one's country. 

^ * Hie obi nunc fora snnt, ndsB tennere palades 

Amne redandatis foBsa manubat aqub ' (Ovid, P<iU%, vi. 401) 


It was adorned in various ways. Julius Caesar placed 
an altar there on successfully giving his great gladia- 
torial games ; and other altars were added, for Ovid 
writes : — 

' Curtius ille lacus, siccas qui sustinet aras, 
Nunc solida est tellus, sed lacns ante fait.' 

(FatH, vi. 403). 

Moreover, it was shaded by a fig-tree,^ an olive, and a 
vine. The first of these had formerly grown in front 
of the Temple of Saturn, and at last had overturned 
the figure of Sylvanus, and been declared sacred by 
the Yestals B.C. 493. 

Upon the discovery of the base of Domitian's monu- 
ment, which had interfered with two of Csesar's dis- 
used galleries, it became certain that the Curtian 
Lacus must be at hand. For, speaking of his master's 
equestrian statue. Statins (Sylvse, v. 66) says : — 

' Ipse loci Gustos, cujns sacrata vorago, 
Famosique Lacus nomen memorabile servant.' 

It may be doubted whether the Romans admired Domi- 
tian's presumption in placing his hated image at so 
sanctified a spot. One thing was felt to be certain, 
Csesar himself had respected the monument which he 
had once adorned, and it must be found therefore in 
the space between two of his galleries adjoining 
I>omitian's work. 

On the 19th of April Hhe sacred area,' so much 
desired, was brought to lights and rapidly cleared of 
superficial debris. It was then perceived that Csesar 
had carefully passed one of his galleries immediately 
west of it, and the other to the east. Roughly speaking, 
in shape the monumental area resembles a primitive 

1 PUn., H. N., XV. 40. 


flat-bottomed barge, about thirty feet long by twenty 
broad at the stem (W.). The pavement beneath the 
latest one becoming exposed proved to be of tufo, orien- 
tated with the Cloaca Maxima. Upon it at the west, 
or broad, end can be traced the cement attachments of 
the small altars. At the further, or prow, end occurs 
a dodecagonal base ten feet in diameter. 

The whole was fenced round with a stone parapet. 
Here then was the spot where the agents of Otho slew 
the ill-fated Galba, and here his body lay until a 
common soldier cut oS his head and carried it to the 
Pretorian camp, with his finger in the mouth. From 
hence fled his adopted son Piso^ to the Temple of Yesta, 
whence he was dragged forth and slain beside the door. 

But such incidents, although interesting, seem to be 
of minor importance when compared with the older 
significance of the place in Roman regard. 'Many 
and noble deeds have given glory to the Roman 
Forum,' wrote Valerius Maximus ; ' but not one of 
these radiate, even to our day, such a splendid light 
as does that deed of Curtius.'^ It may be well to 
recollect with it the October Horse sacrifice to Mars. 
In those days of Valerius, however, it became associated 
with the welfare of the patriotic Augustus, and Sue- 
tonius tells us that folk of all ranks once a year used 
to throw into a puteal here a piece of money as an 
offering for his health. Some of these pieces will pro- 
bably be found. 


The course of the Sacra Via has been in time past 
almost as much a subject of contention as was of yore 
the actual head of the October Horse by the dwellers 

^ Lib. y. Cap. 6. 


upon it with their rivals of the Suburra. For just as 
among Arian peoples the head, or start of the spinal 
power, was held to be the most important member of 
the animal, so among archaeologists was the Sacra Via 
to the Forum. The latter contention, however, has 
fortunately been free, if not from violence, from the 
stains of archaeological blood. Festus (Lib. xvii.) wrote, 
* Sacra Via in urbe Roma appellatur, quod in ea f oedus 
ictum sit inter Romulum ac Tatium.' It is nevertheless 
probable that the sanctity of the original track antedated 
the day of those sage warriors ; and that it originated in 
a path leading 'to the sacred Capanne,' or primitive 
temples, and cemetery (Sepulcretum) above the marsh, 
wherein the *prisci Latini,' *Sabini,' and their fore- 
bears, interred the remains of their respective kindreds. 
This path, in the course of time, became common to 
the Septimontium ; and various tracks led into it from 
both the Esquiline and Palatine hills. The site of the 
Sacellnm Strenlae (whence Varro states that it began 
at its eastern end) has not yet been discovered. In 
any case, it must have stopped at the Sepulcretum 
until the retiring waters, and, finally, draining opera- 
tions, permitted it to be continued through the lower 
valley of the Forum, so as to complete a union with 
the Olivus Capitolinus. Possibly the Janus shrine 
was originally placed so as to commemorate this 
junction! This lowest portion became denominated 
' Ad Janum,' or ' Infima,' as distinguished from the 
*' Clivus ' and ' Summa.' From this long track duly de- 
veloped the rich Republican street lined with temples 
and houses, descending from the Velia, so as to skirt 
the northern flank of the Begia, and then lose itself 
beside the open Forum, even as a stream sometimes 
does in a pool, before it took up again, and made 


for the Paternal Temple of Jove ' Capitolinus.' Its 
conditions, like those of the historic buildings on it^ 
kept on improving until the time of Kero : and from 
having been a simple path to the place of the ancestral 
dead, it served to celebrate for centuries the proudest 
triumphs of the living. 

From that date, however, the upper Sacra Via began 
to be seriously interfered with, and probably this was 
not merely arising from Imperial caprice, but because 
the trade-centre of the city, and its pressure, had passed 
into the region of the Imperial Fora. In any case, 
Nero appropriated the ' summa,' or Velian ridge, and 
built his ' Domus Aurea ' across it, from the Palatine 
to the Esquiline ; at the same time planting upon it 
his own colossal portrait-statue. This latter remained 
there until a.d. 121, though with features altered, so as 
to represent the sun. By this date the pressure of 
business-life had forsaken the Clivus Sacra Via, and had 
fully betaken itself to the * Forum Pacis * and * Forum 
Transitorium ' ; so that the noisy multitudes surging 
to and from the Coliseum needed not to invade the 
Sacra Via, nor did any crowd need to throng it, as was 
often the case apparently, even in the days of Cicero. 
Hadrian was therefore able (perhaps without opposi- 
tion) to annex the ' summa ' for his magnificent Porticus 
and the enclosed Temples of Yenus and Roma ; thereby 
effectually shutting off the amphitheatre from the 
religious centre of the city. 

It follows, then, that the Triumphs became far more 
splendidly accommodated by passing east of those 
temples and through the Forum of Peace, and so round 
into the lower Forum Romanum. In any case, ex- 
cavation has now shown that the head of the Clivus 
Sacra Via was built over in solid Imperial style and 



deprived of its functions considerably before the long 
parallel walls of a colossal building (now displayed) were 
raised, passing over it diagonally, in ordei to stand 
vis-iL-vis with the Basilica of Maxentius. 

So that what with the colossal Basilica on its north 
flank, the huge temples on its east, and the prodigious 
Horrea south of it, the Imperial Glivus became not 
only a ctd-desac, but an oblong enclosure ; not merely 
unadapted for public processions, but impossible for 
them. The consecutiveness of these vast encroach- 
ments upon it tells faithfully the story of topographical 
evolution at this region, while it brings the outline of 
the life of the famous Clivus to a solemn close. 


Opus qtuidratutn. Solid squared stone-work. 

Opu8 IcUeHtvunu Brick- work. 

Oput ineertum,^ Irregular smooth net-faciog, with small pieces 

of tuf o. 
Opu8 reticuUUum.^ Regular, net-like, facing with tufo, or stone, 

or with brick. 
Opus miostum,* Courses of brick, enclosing courses of tufo. 
Opus signinum. Pounded brick mixed with lime and pozzolana. 
Opus spicatwn. Small brick pavement in wheatear fashion. 
Opus sectile. Floor decoration, with cut marbles, or glass, in 

geometrical design. 
Opus alharium. White wall-stucco. 
Opus musivuffL Mosaic of tesserae. 

1 This style passed away, evolutionising into Opus reticuUUum in 
the early years of Augustus (Cf, Bostra of Caesar). 

3 This work went through various modifications ; and survived for 
some three hundred years, though little favoured after A.D. 200 — 
Fons Juturna. 

s Circus of Maxentius on Via Appia. 



Mdvb Divi Julii, 45-47 
JBdes Saturfai, 54 
JEdes Vestse, 27, 35 
Agrippa, baths of, 55 
Amantiug, tomb of, 94 
Amphitheatres, 52 
Appias (Deoemvir), 25 
Ara Volcani, 24 
Arbor felix, 43 
Arch of Augustns, 46 
Arch of Severus, 24, 27 
Arch of Tiberius, 2, 55 
Argei, 43 
Argiletum, 19 
Augural pits, 18 
Augusteum, 75-76, 95 

Baooellatuba, 21 
Bannister, ReT. G., 90 
Basilica Emilia, 2, 19, 21 
Basilica Julia, 19, 55, 59 
Basilica of Maxentius, 74 
Bindweed, 9 
Biscop, Benedict, 93 
Boustrophedic inscription, 16 
Breccia Quintiliola, 41 
Bronze doors, 20 
Bucchero, 49 

Garceres, 64, 68 
Castor, 75-77, 102 
Cats in the Forum, 56 
Cloacae, 18, 60 
Ciivus Capitolinus, 55 
Clivus Sacra Via, 64 
Coins, 39 
Comitium, 7 
Crucifixion, fresco of, 78 
Cunicoli Csesarei, 51 
Curia, 7 
Cypress, 9, 26 

DouOLA, 19 
Domitian, 47-48 
Domus Fublica, 30, 45 

Fasti Consularbs, 62 
Ficus Ruminalis, 8 
Flowers, 3 
Fordicidia, 43 
Forum Julium, 27 
Forty Martyrs, 97 
Forum of Nerya, 57 
Frontinus, 102 
Funecary offerings, 73 


Gabii, 73 

Galba, murder of, 47 
Galleries of Csesar, 51 
Gauls, the, 1 1 
Gracchi, the, ii 
Grisar, Padre, S.J., 87 
Grottaf errata, 71 

Health, Gods op, 95 
Herbarium, 43 
Hereon Bomuli, 56 
Huelsen, Professor C, 49 
Human sacrifice, 47 
Hut-urns, 71 

iNSORimoN, 58 

Jackdaws, 76 
John VII. (Pope), 84 
Jutuma, Laous of, 94, 99-I03 

Kalatobss Pontifioum, 28 

Laous Cubtius, 3-47, 106-109 
Laurels, 32 
Lava quarries, 33. 
Library of Tiberius, 81, 96 
Ligorio Pirro, 21 
Lotus, 26 

Maobinus, 25 
Materials, 4, 6, 64, 67 
Maxentius, 23, 51, 64, 74 
Minerva, Temple of, 96 
MoUk talaa, 8, 44 
Mosaic, 79 
Museum, 56 

NiOKB Latis. 7, 14, 15, 49> 51 



Orientation, 3 
Osiris, 12 

Peace, Altab or, 103-105 

Pedestals, 9-12 

Pegmata, 52 

Penus Vestse, 38 

Plague in the Forum, 95 

Pollio, M. B., loi 

Pomegranate, 63 

Pottery (Proto-Corinthian), 73 

Reoia, 27, 28, 70, 71, 73 
Regifugium, 7» 16 
Republican houses, 70 
Rex Sacrorum. 7, 16 
Rostra of Cesar, i, 51, 54 
Rostra Flavian, 53 
Rostra Vetera, 12, 17 
Rushfortb, Neville {quoted), 93 

Saobabium of Mabs, 32 

Sacrarium of Ops, 33-34 

Sacra Via, 109-112 

Salii, the, 7, 32 

S. Adriano, 19 

SS. Cosma and Damiano, 56 

S. Francesca Romana, 97 

S. Maria Antiqua, 77-95 

S. Maria Liberatrice, 37, 77-78, 

S. Maria Nova, 97 

SS. Quiricus and JolitU, 86, 90 

S. Teodoro, 96 

Sarcophagus, 93 

Schola Xanthi, 55 

Sepolcretum, 25, 49, 50^ 70 

Statins, description by, 48 



Stela, 9, 12 
Streuiffi Saoelluiu, I lo 
Styles, 5 

Styles of work, II2 
Subarrfty 17 
Saffibulum, 43 
Snovetanrilift, 11 
Sylvestro, S., 92, 95 


Tabulariam, 5 
Temenos of Vests, 28 
Temple of Baoohus, 63 
Templum Sacrae Urbis, 69 
The JErniUi, 62 
Theodore, Archbishop, 93 
Theodotus, 86, 88 
Tholos, 32, 32 
Tombs, 71, 72-73 

Transveetio Equitum, 77 
Tremulus, Q. M., 77 

Vases, Pontifioal, 48, 50 
Velaria, 52 
Velia, iio-iii 
Venationes, 52 ^ 

Venos Cloacina, 63 
Venus, Temple of, 98 
Vestales, 8, 26, 30, 42, 43, 54 
Via Bonella, 18 
Via Cavonr, 57 
Victor Emmanuel II., 50 
Volcanal, 24 

Weabmouth, 93 
Wolf-Pedestal, 22 
Woods, 6, 51, 53, 61 

Zaohabias, Pope, 86 


^M/.V'^ lUn 

Printed by Ballamtymk, UamsomA* Co. 
Sdinburgb ^ London 


if'orks by AUGUSTUS J. C. HARE 



WALKS IN ROME. Sixteenth Edition. 

Revised by the Author and St. Clair Baddeley. 
With 3 Plans and 3 Illustrations showing recent 
discoveries. 2 vols., fcap. 8vo, Cloth limp, los. 6d. 

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